Motorcycle Suggestions Welcome

Tele-beeb

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Posts
3,669
Location
The Bluegrass
Upon a life event I am now at the place I always meant to acquire a motorcycle. I had them in my youth and have placed them on the shelf while raising children (as well as alcohol.)
What do you feel is a great value on the current market?
I am open from 1970 through maybe the early 2000’s.
All Japanese and air cooled is preferred.
:) thanks ahead.
 

Telekarster

Poster Extraordinaire
Gold Supporter
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Posts
6,297
Location
Earth
Lots of riders out here so I'm sure you'll get some suggestions. I've always been a Harley guy so I don't know much about anything else. I know BMW, Triumphs and Indians are talked about sometimes out here.
 

Nahtabot

Tele-Holic
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Posts
829
Location
USA
I know 2-smokers are not for everyone. May I suggest a Suzuki T500? (with proper drum brakes) :)

1652445758916.png
 

bottlenecker

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Posts
6,006
Location
Wisconsin
Upon a life event I am now at the place I always meant to acquire a motorcycle. I had them in my youth and have placed them on the shelf while raising children (as well as alcohol.)
What do you feel is a great value on the current market?
I am open from 1970 through maybe the early 2000’s.
All Japanese and air cooled is preferred.
:) thanks ahead.

There are so many great bikes, but if you're a re-entry rider I must recommend a dual sport. Go trail riding as much as you can before/while getting back on the street. You didn't get any better at riding all those years of not riding, and car drivers have gotten quite a bit worse.

My favorite motorcycle I've ever owned was the suzuki DR650 I took to alaska and mexico. It'll do highway all day, it'll get you through single track woods if you need to, and it has the very pleasing character of a big thumper. It is japanese, and air cooled.

img_1_1652446258919-01.jpeg
 

Flat6Driver

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Jan 14, 2013
Posts
5,074
Age
49
Location
DC Burbs
Upon a life event I am now at the place I always meant to acquire a motorcycle. I had them in my youth and have placed them on the shelf while raising children (as well as alcohol.)
What do you feel is a great value on the current market?
I am open from 1970 through maybe the early 2000’s.
All Japanese and air cooled is preferred.

:) thanks ahead.

I don't know quite what to tell you other than look for a model that has a lot of good support, especially when an older model. I know a lot about older BMWs and I know you can always get the parts for that. I assumed you could not for older Japanese, but my intuition was bad. Probably some models have better or worse support than others.

Dual sport is also a god idea. I never started with those, but have one now and it's fun. Mine's a 250. Stinks on the highway, but it's like a powerful bicycle in some ways.

Check out ADVrider, they have a big community and a robust for sale section.
 

teleforumnoob

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 25, 2010
Posts
2,638
Age
65
Location
your mom
I started back at age 62 after a 25yr+/- layoff. I thought I would like to tour a bit plus do some light off road, so I got a Versys 300x. I found out right away I was too old and arthritic to be out in the woods on a bike. Plus the light weight, tall profile, and adv fairings made the thing a sail on the highway. Sold the thing pretty fast and bought myself a Harley Softail. Not gonna do no trails and not gonna get blown off the road by an 18 wheeler or a 20mph crosswind.
So if you go the dual sport/adv route, consider your age and physical condition before thinking your gonna tear up the woods is all Im sayin. Plus if your gonna put down any serious highway miles, consider something with some heft to it.
But after a couple of yrs I got the GAS for something a bit more sporty, the big Harley is comfy but kinda boring. So I got a RE Cont 650 twin, which is a perfect around towner. Sporty enough without yeeting yourself into oblivion. Simple and easy to maintain, and inexpensive. It's basically just an old Triumph with fuel inj and a rear disk. If you just want something fun to ride on local roads I heartily rec one of the Enfield Twins.
I love the old 70s and 80s Japanese UJMs, but finding one thats in good condition can be tough, and expensive. And its prob gonna cost you to make it reliable and keep it the way.
The Versys:
CF1D34CC-8DDB-4A69-BBEF-17D17E9B320B_1_201_a.jpeg

The Enfield
0634BB43-7900-4FC1-88C9-07A09B3C8382_1_201_a.jpeg

The Harley
tempImagetQN2Mo.png
 
Last edited:

bottlenecker

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Posts
6,006
Location
Wisconsin
I started back at age 62 after a 25yr+/- layoff. I thought I would like to tour a bit plus do some light off road, so I got a Versys 300x. I found out right away I was too old and arthritic to be out in the woods on a bike. Plus the light weight, tall profile, and adv fairings made the thing a sail on the highway. Sold the thing pretty fast and bought myself a Harley Softail. Not gonna do no trails and not gonna get blown off the road by an 18 wheeler or a 20mph crosswind.
So if you go the dual sport/adv route, consider your age and physical condition before thinking your gonna tear up the woods is all Im sayin. Plus if your gonna put down any serious highway miles, consider something with some heft to it.
But after a couple of yrs I got the GAS for something a bit more sporty, the big Harley is comfy but kinda boring. So I got a RE Cont 650 twin, which is a perfect around towner. Sporty enough without yeeting yourself into oblivion. Simple and easy to maintain, and inexpensive. It's basically just an old Triumph with fuel inj and a rear disk. If you just want something fun to ride on local roads I heartily rec one of the Enfield Twins.
I love the old 70s and 80s Japanese UJMs, but finding one thats in good condition can be tough, and expensive. And its prob gonna cost you to make it reliable and keep it the way.

Woods and highway are extremes. You don't have to ride woods to get off the road. Depending where you are, there may be lots of easy atv trails to ride. A versys isn't really a dual sport though, and I'm sure it was frustrating if you took it into the woods. It's also small for the highway. I think it's aimed at being an unintimidating (small low powered) beginner bike for people who like the adv look.
 

teleforumnoob

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 25, 2010
Posts
2,638
Age
65
Location
your mom
Woods and highway are extremes. You don't have to ride woods to get off the road. Depending where you are, there may be lots of easy atv trails to ride. A versys isn't really a dual sport though, and I'm sure it was frustrating if you took it into the woods. It's also small for the highway. I think it's aimed at being an unintimidating (small low powered) beginner bike for people who like the adv look.
By woods I meant Nat forrest gravel roads and fire breaks. Nothing the bike couldn't handle, it was more me realizing I dont need to go down out in the Nat forrest by myself w/a sketchy cell signal and 45min-hr to an EM room.
 

drf64

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Jul 24, 2009
Posts
11,045
Age
58
Location
Ada, MI
I know 2-smokers are not for everyone. May I suggest a Suzuki T500? (with proper drum brakes) :)

View attachment 982763

That is a huge hit of nostalgia right there.

To the OP, I would suggest staying away from 70s and 80s bikes unless you happen to also get a a lot of parts in a barn find. The parts are simply disappearing, slowly ending up in land fills and metal recycling bins. I know this from restoring DOHC bikes from the 80s. Parts were plentiful 10 years ago, but not so much anymore.
 

feldkeen

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 30, 2010
Posts
265
Age
61
Location
Lutz
Just say no. I think back to a super great friend of mind who didn’t make it out of high school. I was always scared my kids would ride.
It never seems to be the fault of the dead biker. But what does that matter they are fun to ride.
 

drf64

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Jul 24, 2009
Posts
11,045
Age
58
Location
Ada, MI
Just say no. I think back to a super great friend of mind who didn’t make it out of high school. I was always scared my kids would ride.
It never seems to be the fault of the dead biker. But what does that matter they are fun to ride.

I don't disagree that they are dangerous, but of all the kids I went to HS with who didn't make it out, none were MC related.
 
Last edited:

Preacher

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Apr 17, 2007
Posts
5,584
Location
Big D
I am getting the same itch.

Back in 2006 I purchased a Honda VTX1800 brand new out of the crate. This was the biggest bike I ever rode. It is really heavy but for highway riding it was a blast, lots of torque, power and all of that in a "cruzer". The thing I liked best was it could be a bar hopper riding around without a shield and a rear seat, or you could bolt on some bags, add a windshield and the rear seat and make it a highway king. 1800CC's V twin, fuel injected and lots of aftermarket parts and Honda quality. I put 25K on mine and just changed fluids and tires.

I would be really tempted at this one.

I have a friend who has one of these

he loves it but doesn't like the fact the parts are so expensive.

However if I was going to buy a bike today, this one would get a serious look.

 

Flat6Driver

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Jan 14, 2013
Posts
5,074
Age
49
Location
DC Burbs
This is my KLX and some riding I did 2 weekends ago. I did a little of Mid Atlantic Back Road Discovey Route. It's a lot of dirt and USFS roads. I trucked it out there cause it would be miserable (but possible) to ride this little bike there and back. Ther were water crossings but it's all pretty tame. A subaru outback could cover much of this.

I have ridden this bike on "woods trails" and learned that it's not my thing.

The route below goes along the edges of the mountain. You cannot see it wrap around. I did a lot.of this standing up. 80 miles or off-road on a 95 mile day. I felt it for days afterward. And would do it again in a second.

20220430_102000.jpg
20220430_114851.jpg
 

bobio

Friend of Leo's
Gold Supporter
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Posts
2,147
Age
58
Location
Here
Upon a life event I am now at the place I always meant to acquire a motorcycle. I had them in my youth and have placed them on the shelf while raising children (as well as alcohol.)
What do you feel is a great value on the current market?
I am open from 1970 through maybe the early 2000’s.
All Japanese and air cooled is preferred.
:) thanks ahead.
Been on the hunt myself for a mid to late 70s Honda Goldwing.
This one slipped through my fingers recently and I am still pouting about it :cry:

20220401_182323989_iOS.jpg
 

Dan German

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Feb 21, 2008
Posts
13,761
Age
62
Location
Left of the Left Coast
If you buy anything older than 20 years, be prepared for parts searches and wait times, especially now. There are exceptions (KLR and DR and XR were made for a long time with little change), but parts can be harder to come by than you think. Don’t get anything that was in production for less than five years. I love older bikes, and I have an ‘86 Honda that I wouldn’t part with, but I work a motorcycle dealership parts counter, and I spend my days looking for parts for people.
 




Top