what size engine? [Archive] - Glock Talk


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12-05-2004, 22:30
ok, i am in my second childhood, and i am on the verge of a midlife crisis. i want to live it up a little while i am young enough and healthy enough to enjoy it.

i am an experienced rider with in excess of thirty years experience. i also raced flattrack and motocross during my misspent youth.

i mostly want to ride 'round town, trips to the big city, and occasional long trips. i want to experience all this with my wife and soul mate. i am experienced riding 2up, my wife is an excellent passenger and navigator (she has the looks and the brains). i do not have much experience in riding 2up for extended distances. i have ridden lots, long distance, solo. i am not interested in ripping up the asphalt or trying for land speed records. been there, done it, i have all that behind me. our rides will be stop and smell the roses and take in the scenery types.

i am about 190# and my lovely wife is somewhere close to 140. on the longer trips we will carry minimal gear.

i used to have a 750 yamaha, an old three banger. it did well on the short trips, and the 750 didn't seem to labor excessively at all riding 2up. i had a 650 suzuki that did well 2up, but once again, no long trips.

this is not going to be a lifestyle change. i am not going to get(insert brand name here) tatoos, start wearing (insert brand name here)logo clothing all the time, or start calling my wife my b!+ch. i am not saying that is bad, it's just not for me.

i am guessing 800cc should be my minimum. i want an engine big enough so it will not have to work too hard to haul us around at reasonable (read legal or less) speeds. i choose not to buy used. i want to know the history of the bike, and the warranty is important to me. i know bigger is better, but the more money i spend, the less i will be able to spend on extras. if i bought a big bike i would have to buy cheaper helmets, wait on a windshield, and probabably wouldn't be able to buy some sexy chaps for my wife. ;)

anyway, what do you guys think would be minimal as far as engine size goes? oh, yeah, i want a cruiser, not a tour bike.

your help will be appreciated.;c ;c

12-05-2004, 22:42
While Im no expert, and have less exp than you, I think that 800 is ok as a minimum.

However, If it was me I would look a little higher. In the long run I think you will be happier and it will serve you better especially in regards to long trips, going 2up, with hills.

No offense but both of you, a full tank, and gear should put you near 400 pounds.

Make sure you get her those chaps though...and then post us a pic?

12-05-2004, 23:30
I think you pretty much answered your own question.

Just make sure you look at actual power/weight figures rather than displacement.

12-06-2004, 02:49
This is probably way more sporty than you're looking for though


Daniel Ramsey
12-06-2004, 04:38
How about the BMW K1200LT?

just my two cents...

12-06-2004, 06:15
Originally posted by Daniel Ramsey
How about the BMW K1200LT?


I would love to take a long trip on one!


Texas T
12-06-2004, 11:15
Originally posted by chevrofreak
This is probably way more sporty than you're looking for though

http://powersports.honda.com/motorcycles/sport/model.asp?ModelName=Interceptor+ABS&ModelYear=2005&ModelId=VFR800A5 For a long two-up ride I'd think he'd want something a little more comfortable.

12-06-2004, 14:29
i went to bmw motorcycle's website. they said the 1200 would do 0-60 in 2.8 seconds. WOW, that should be enough horsepower. i betcha they are 24 grand; i want too much for this poor ole country boy.

the sport bikes are cool, but texas t is right, that is not what i need. i don't want a hot rod. i just want to buzz around 2up without putting undue strain on the engine by overworking it.

thanks for all the input so far, keep it coming.;c

Texas T
12-06-2004, 15:15
I know that you said that you didn't want a tourer, but do you definitely NOT want something with bags on it?

If bags are okay you might want to consider the BMW R1200CL which has a MSRP of $16500. Fairing, bags, good two up capacity, but I don't know what your financial constraints are.


12-06-2004, 15:15
It's interesting that this topic should come up.
Yesterday my wife and I had to drive to Portland
to see a friend that was in the hospital. On
our drive, we passed the Harley dealership, and
I said to her, "You know I need a midlife
crisis". She said what do you mean?, and I said
that I wanted a Harley. Her reply was that I
spend too much on guns, too much on computers,
and have too much ammo. Can you imagine that,
having too much ammo, that's an oxymoron! from
a woman's point of view. So anyway she asked
me what a Harley cost....I say probably 25K the
way that I want it. Her reply was unprintable
according to GK standards. BTW, I'm an
experienced rider. I guess That some wives just
don't get the guy thing....He who dies with the
most toys wins!. Remember that book, "Men are
from Mars and Women are from Venus". I'd sure
love to send her back to Venus for a week, and
see what she comes home to!...end of semi rant.

12-06-2004, 15:41
actually bags will be a big plus. i have also been pricing saddlebags, passenger backrests, windshields, and cargo racks.

i will have about $10,000 total to spend. i want to peg out at $9000.00 inc. TTL. that will leave 'bout a grand for helmets, xtras, and maybe an airfreshener to hang from the mirror.

there seems to be some decent choices in the 800 cc range, i am afraid that that will not be enough engine, hince this topic.

the suzuki s83 has a suggested retail of $8399.00, and it is an 83 incher or 'bout 1350cc. that is the one i am leaning toward. kawasaki has a tour bike with a 997cc engine. it has a MSRP of $8299.00. it may be a good choice. i has lots of goodies included. is a tour bike, so i am not real nuts about the looks. i really do not like farings 'cause the head light doesn't turn with the front forks. i do not like not being to see where i am going on tight curves. it seems to have a fair price.
suzuki also has a 50 incher( 'bout 850cc) with windshield and bags. it is under $8000.00. it has fuel injection which seems like a good idea. it is a great lookin' bike, but does it have enough engine?

the BMW is sweet, but it is waaaay out of my price range.

12-06-2004, 15:56
Honda VTX is a nice cruiser

12-06-2004, 19:36
Originally posted by bdhawk
i really do not like farings 'cause the head light doesn't turn with the front forks. i do not like not being to see where i am going on tight curves.
Do your car's headlights turn with the front wheel? In 27 years of riding BMW's with full fairings I have never given a thought to this. At speed, the bars do not turn that much, in fact, because of countersteering, you turn the bars opposite the direction you want to turn! Long trips on a cruiser bike seems like unnecessary agony - especially with a passenger. Have a look at a Suzuki V-Strom. At least you won't have to wonder which of the 27 identical Harley-wannabe cruisers in the parking lot is yours. - Lee ;)

12-06-2004, 20:32
i used to have a suzuki GS650 L, an '81. it was sorta similar to the v- strom. it was an awesome bike 'cept it was the bike that gave me a dislike for fairings. it seemed to run much better than a 650 should. there was a hairpin curve just outside of town. i felt really blind going through it. in the daytime, the hairpin curve was sooo much fun. the car headlight comparison makes sence, but i do remember the uncomfortable feeling with headlight pointing the wrong way. the v-strom 1000 does look promising. decent pricing, too.

i have also been looking at the honda vtx. great looking bike. nice size engine and the specs look good. it is on the high end of what i want to spend. it is $9399.00 MSRP. with TTL it would take up my whole $10,000.00. honda still has '04 models priced on their website. if there any of those available, still. it may be just the thing.

12-06-2004, 22:48
One of the nicest looking (I know, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder) cruisers on the market these days is the Honda VTX1300. For '05, there are three different models. The custom, the "S" model (S is for spokes) and the Retro, which looks exactly like the S model except it has cast aluminum wheels. The 1300 makes about 83 or 84 HP, gobs of low end and mid-range, water cooled of course, shaft drive for low maint, and 5 speed. Lots of accessories available if you want them and MSRP is around $9300. This bike will cruise all day long with two up, and never complain. Honda reliability, quality, fit, finish and....it's faster than any stock Harley except the V-Rod.

12-07-2004, 00:51
There is little, if any, reason to require a headlight to turn with the forks. The fork/bars are moved very little with turning above parking lot speeds. As someone else pointed out, countersteering turns the bars in the direction opposite the direction of the turn and this is correct for motorcycles and bicycles (any two wheeled single track vehicle), but generally, that is primarily for turn initiation only. Once the lean angle to negotiate the turn is acquired, the front wheel will track into the turn direction. But as stated above, the degree to which this occurs is slight, because the bike will lean over to turn. So there is advantage in having a headlight(s) that do not turn with the forks.

12-07-2004, 11:46
You may want to look at this,
http://www.yamaha-motor.com/products/unitinfo/2/mcy/4/62/0/yamaha_v_star_1100_silverado.aspx (Yamaha Silverado)

1100 cc's, saddlebags(with stiffeners), windshield, looks great for two-up. I am actually looking at this one.


12-07-2004, 18:12
Take a real serious look at the Honda VTX 1300! You shouldn't have to pay retail. I bought one in July, put a Honda windshield and light bar on it and still paid less than MSRP. My midlife crisis has been great!! Should have had it sooner!

12-07-2004, 21:32
Ahhhh...just go with a gixxer thou or a busa! Love my little gix, but long trips can be tiring.

12-08-2004, 11:59
You might want to check out the Kawasaki Concours. if they don't still make new ones, there are plenty of used ones on the market.
Full fairing, shaft drive, easily removable hard luggage, 1000cc engine. Plus it has a large seat-if you are going to ride 2 up with the wife, the seat is very important. The Concours is a proven commodity, and is reasonably priced.

12-08-2004, 19:20
a few posts back i included a link of the kawasaki concurs. it looks to be an excellent choice. decent sized engine, lots of goodies already bolted on. i am going to check 'em out for sure.
this is a pic on their website, so it looks like they are still being made.

12-08-2004, 22:11
For a touring bike this is what I'd ride.


12-08-2004, 22:32
the yahama fjr1300 looks like a very nice ride. it is out of my price range. i am limited to $10,000.00. this is total for bike, TTL, helmets, and any extras i may want. i do not want to finance.

i know that a cruiser is a big compromise. i will mostly ride it locally with short day trips. very infrequently will i/we take long trips. even those will be easy, stop and smell the roses trips. i feel a cruiser will be, overall, my best choice.

my main question, and reason for this thread, is to determine the size engine i will need to buy. i want to get one that is big enough to handle 2up travel, and yet be economical to purchase initially.

right now i am leaning toward the suzuki S83 boluvard. about 1350 cc, shaft drive, front&rear disk brakes, low maintenance engine, and lots of nice goodies. it runs $8399.00 MSRP. with TTL and a few bolt on xtras i should be able to stay around $9000.00. that will leave a few bucks for nice helmets, some protective gear, and maybe a tank of gas or two.

i intend to baby the new bike, whichever i get. i need it to last a looooong time. i want it to be safe, reliable, and most of all fun.

i really appreciate everyone's help on this. i am having trouble finding out information on bikes. stuff like engine horsepower, gross vehicle weight, and maximum cargo weight are not mentioned on the websites.

12-09-2004, 07:39
I told my wife: honey I'm going to have a mid-life crisis and I will have to either go out and buy a little red sports car, a big street cruiser or a mistress. She says: so what kind of bike do you want?

I have been doing a lot of homework on prospective cruisers and I have a few observations. Harley is the benchmark. For my tastes they are WAY too expensive. Also, if you get a custom frame on your Harley the insurance premium alone is $2000.00+ a year. For me, Harley's out. So that leaves BMW (not really an option for $) Victory (Polaris) also not really an option for $. and the big three Japanese bikes. Of the three, Suzuki has the least "fit&finish". Look at how the pieces are bolted on and the welds are prep'd. Honda has some great options with probably the best fit and finish in the business. The choice I think I have made is one of the Yamaha RoadStar series. The base unit is 1700cc and lists for $10,999.00 and my dealer told me I could come in under $10K. Another nice thing about the roadstar is it comes stock with nice big running boards for your feet, not pegs. This is not a new design and I understand they have great reliability. Plus, there are a ton of aftermarket parts available like bags and windshields etc.
Good Luck and have fun.

12-09-2004, 08:09
here's my 2 cents:

if you can't afford the yamaha fj1200; look at the FZ1.
this is called a "standard" 996 cc four cylinder engine (the r-1 race engine).
affordable new and cheaper still used. excellent power and handling and comfortable two-up.
i have one and think it is one of the best m/c's out there.

12-09-2004, 16:48
jemmontgomery is right. The FZ1 is a great do-it-all motorcycle. The FJR1300 would be great. I want one (and a FZ1).

I met a guy a couple of months ago that had 25,000 miles on his two year old FZ1. He had no complaints.

12-09-2004, 17:53
I bought an '04 Suzuki Volusia (805 cc) this past June. Mostly just cruise around town and drive back and forth to work when weather permits. Longest road trip I have been on was about 200 miles round trip. Runs great with just me on it. I am not huge, 6'1", 210 lbs. Has plenty of pep and zip, but some times I wish I had gone ahead and spent a little extra and gone with at least 1100cc engine. Overall, I am very pleased with my bike. I think Suzuki makes a good one.

Texas T
12-09-2004, 20:03

You're on track with the Concours. Go out and pick up the December issue of Rider magazine. They have two great articles on the "Connie". This is probably the best valued sport-tourer on the market today and over the past ten years. Old technology, but reliable as all get out.

The Yammie is out of your price range, as is the Honda ST1300 if you want to stick with a brand new bike, but the brand new Connies can be had for between $7200-$8000 depending upon where you get it.

The Concours Owners Group (COG) is the place for LOTS of info and I've been hanging out there for several weeks now.

If you're not absolutely set on a brand new bike, there's a V-Strom available here in Texas for $6800 (asking price) with just 5000 miles on it. Details are here:

This is also my favorite moto forum right now. The owner of the forum lives just up the road from me in Huntsville (about 45 min north) and a lot of their group rides start in my area. I'm not sure where you're located, but there are members from Houston, DFW, Austin, San Antonio, and several other places.

Another good mag you may want to pick up is called Ride Texas. Good info on places to go within the state. Limited distribution, but I get my copy at Kroger.

Another good Texas based forum is www.mellowwing.com

Both Two Wheeled Texans and Mellowwing are touring / sport-touring / dual-sport focused groups with some representaion from cruiser owners and sportbike guys (and gals) as well. TWT has a fair amount of female riders in case you are interested in getting your wife her own bike. They would be able to help you convince her and support her should you both decide to go that route.


12-09-2004, 20:11
i will definately check out the concours. it looks like a nice bike, especially for the money.
thanks for the URLs, too.

Texas T
12-09-2004, 20:28
Look for posts on TWT from "dragwn" who lives in Plano. He rides a connie and can probably give you a lot of personal insight.

I see that you're way up in the panhandle; several of the folks do group rides up to AR, OK, NM, AZ, CO so it would still be worthwhile to check out those forums. Some of the folks are planning some Iron Butt events in the spring if you're up for some callouses on the buttocks. :)

12-09-2004, 20:35
i would like to ask a few questions about maintenance. it looks like it needs a lot of attention. stuff like frequent valve check/adjustment.
i also am interested in power to weight ratio and passenger comfort.

Texas T
12-12-2004, 23:22
bd, another good thread on Connie vs ST...


12-14-2004, 01:27
I'd recommend either the VTX1300, or the Connie.

The VTX is much better looking, and comfy. It's bulletproof, but has no luggage. You can however, get a set of good set of saddle bags and a shield while keeping in your budget

The Connie is faster and has luggage, but not quite as comfortable. (close though) It does need more maintenance, meaning $ or time spent wrenching.

Either way, you can keep within your budget and get what you want with these two bikes. Just go look at the two of them and decide which "does it" for you.

12-15-2004, 19:46
I should have mentioned that at one time I owned and rode a Connie. It was a 1987, silver in color. It was the first year after the initial model introduction. The 1st model had lower bars.
I happily rode it for about 3 years. Down to Atlanta Ga, up to Elkhart Lake Wi. among other trips. My bike was a new left over model, I purchased it in about 1991.
The bags were great on trips, and easily removeable, as I really hate the way bags look on a bike.
It had plenty of power, but was a little buzzy. I had zero problems with it. The vast majority of my riding was one up.
For the money, if you want a touring bike, I don't think this one can be beaten.
I ended up trading it on a CB 1000 Honda-"The Big One".
In my fevered riding days, I tired of any bike I owned after 2 or 3 years, and sold or traded them for something new.

Daniel Ramsey
12-16-2004, 04:22
Has anyone checked out Ebay? There are reputable sellers there and some pretty good deals if you look close enough, only hassle is shipping unless you fly out and possibly ride it back in unless its in the northern states.

I have been making low bids on quite a few BMWs, some were ex-CHP type motos going real cheap in Texas for awhile.

12-18-2004, 11:15
If you are interested in a ST1300, there are several listed here for around 10k or less, most have lots of aftermarket accessories already installed.
I have 20,000 trouble free miles on my 03,and the extended warranty gives you 7 year, unlimited milege coverage.


Big Wes
12-28-2004, 18:58
http://bigbikeriders.com/photopost/data/500/101704cyc25-med.jpg VTX 1800c...SWEET RIDE

01-01-2005, 18:00
I currently have a Concours, it's my third bike. It's a great value, is fairly quick and actually quite good in the twisties.

I've ridden a couple of 500 mile days solo and a few 200 mile 2-up rides with no problems. It comforable has a passenger back rest and saddle bags that I always use.

It's not as buzy as everyone says. Check out the used market, there are some great buys on these guys.

Texas T
01-01-2005, 19:29
Originally posted by alfair
I currently have a Concours, it's my third bike. It's a great value, is fairly quick and actually quite good in the twisties.

Check out the used market, there are some great buys on these guys.
Yeah, I'm looking....

Been here yet? www.twtex.com Good place. Lots of folks from Austin are there. Big get-together ride coming up soon.

Daniel Ramsey
01-02-2005, 02:27
I went shopping late last week at the local Harley shop, very nice people to deal with, I checked out a 1200cc Sportster and it felt too small for me (I'm 5'10" 197lbs) sat on the VRSC (at $18k too pricey), Superglide and they felt OK but it was the softails that felt "just right".
There was a used 2000 Roadking in excellant shape though it had 41k miles on it, they wanted $14,000 for it, my spending ceiling on a financed vehicle was $10k so even though its a bit beyond I was prepared to buy it.After doing some research I found a new one can be bought at very little above that.So I passed it up. Well earlier I checked out a Honda VTX1300R, sweet sweet sweet! and under 10k....so in comparing a Honda to a Harley I can get Fuel injection, liquid cooling, counterbalanced engine plus modern electronics like LED tailights and the such.
For a bit more I can get the VTX1800F (the VTX1300 uses carbs)that has the FI plus a tach, for some odd reason the 1300 doesn't have one.

Even though I live in a small town in Alaska with a small Honda dealership (all the bikes were in storage upstairs cause its winter)they still had of all things a new Valkerie Rune! That is the sweetest looking thing I have ever seen! unfortunately I had bought a 2005 Pontiac AWD SUV for my wife for the same amount ($25,000) back in oct so I have reached my monthly limit in payments.

So I'm kinda leaning towards the VTX1300 but I really should get the 1800 only cause I'm a diesel mechanic and bluntly...carbs suck!;f

The only way I may ever buy a Harley would be somebodies basket case and then I rebuild it up, cheap. The new ones are overpriced with little in modern achievements though the VRSC is definately modern.
Soon I'll drive into Anchorage and look at the Yamahas, the Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 (yes its over 2,000cc!)may be the best deal around exept for the 1600 Classic, for the money its really good so I am looking into that very well.
I did post elsewhere another time my interest in the BMW, however they are backing out of the cruiser market so I want a traditional looking bike, neo-retro in due respects. I will post what I look at and my impressions.

01-02-2005, 07:57
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Texas T

Been here yet? www.twtex.com Good place. Lots of folks from Austin are there. [/QUOTE

Yep, used to read the board quite often, but have been finding myself over here too much!

01-02-2005, 08:07
Originally posted by Texas T
For a long two-up ride I'd think he'd want something a little more comfortable.
I agree a VFR is not what he is looking for but my wife and I took a 3500 mile trip (dayton OH - Avon CO) on ours a few years ago.

01-02-2005, 19:23
This is mine. Yamaha R6. 600cc

Texas T
01-02-2005, 22:22
Daniel, you can get a brand new Kaw Concours out the door for less than $8500.
hard bags
full fairing

Texas T
01-02-2005, 22:23
Originally posted by alfair
Yep, used to read the board quite often, but have been finding myself over here too much!
It's the opposite for me. I used to live here, now I find it's fallen to my #2 or #3 most active forum. ;)

Daniel Ramsey
01-03-2005, 01:50
I didn't know about the Concours, looks really nice actually looks similar in some respects to a BMW. Thats a real good price!
But I want a cruiser that looks traditional, has the rumble and basically looks like a Harley but with more bells and whistles.
The VTX 1800 has a stock engine thats well...pretty darn big, has fuel injection, triple disc brakes, a digital LCD tach and speedo, LED tailights, liquid cooled, counterbalanced engine (only the HD 88B, Revolution has that)has basically more advance designs in the engine alone that i can only name a few like a ceramic liner coating, three valve per cylinder OHC design, dry sump oiling etc.

Funny thing is the looks of the tank instrumentation is what sells me, the yamahas from what I have seen in the brochure is tantalizing with the unique backlighting, HD's instruments are the same as my Peterbilt concrete mixer;f

Besides I think a modern bike looking "retro" is cool instead of a retro line trying to be modern...;a