I need two motorcycles

I’ve decided I need a smaller, funner motorcycle to go along with my big, fun, FJR. I’d like something that’s sporty and fun, but commute-y. I don’t want to spend a lot of money, so I’m thinking about used bikes that I can scour Craig’s List for a good deal on. I’d love a new Ninja 1000, but that’s out financially.

These are the options I’m thinking about.

Yamaha FZ1. Fast and fun, but maybe a bit weak down in the lower end of the rev range, where a lot of my commuting would be.

Bandit 1250S. Gobs of torque, but, sadly, flops like a lead balloon on the top end.

GSX-R1000. Screw it. Just go pure sportbike. But not one with an excessively committed riding position.

Those are my top three choices for a used second bike. Any other suggestions?

UPDATE: I forgot about the Buell 1125R. I wouldn’t mind one of those, either.

Author: Dale Franks

Dale Franks is the former host of The Business Day, ”a daily, four-hour business and financial news program on KMNY Radio in Los Angeles. From 2002-2004, he was a contributor on military and international affairs for TechCentralStation.com. Currently, he a publisher and editor of the monthly political journal The New Libertarian, as well as an editor of the popular web log, Q and O. Dale served as a military police officer in the United States Air Force from 1984 to 1993, in variety of assignments both in the United States and Europe, where he also was assigned to the staff of the Headquarters of Allied Forces Central Europe. In addition to broadcasting, writing, and speaking on various topics, Dale has also been a long-time technical training instructor on a variety of computer software and technology subjects. Dale has also long been involved with information technology as an accomplished web designer, programmer, and technologist, serving as the corporate knowledge specialist for Microsoft Outlook at SAIC, the nation's largest employee-owned corporation. Additionally, he is the author of a number of software user guides used for classroom training by one of Southern California’'s premier computer training and consulting firms. His book, SLACKERNOMICS: Basic Economics for People Who Find Economics Boring, is available from Barnes & Noble.

9 thoughts on “I need two motorcycles”

  1. Very good way out of your conundrum, Dale 🙂
    Although to make it a real difference, I’d suggest getting away from watercooled I4’s in touring oriented bikes – after all a Bandit or a Fazer is just a cheaper and less capable version of your FJR.
    If it’s low end torque you’re after, check out Ducatis – maybe a Monster or a Hypermotard would be to your liking? Or even the old style 1100cc Multistrada. Dirt cheap used bike, and very fun to ride. Was thinking of the SV’s suggested before, but more towards the 650 since it came with anti lock brakes.
    Or maybe an Aprilia Shiver or a Dorsoduro? Or a Street Triple or Speed Triple?
    I remember reading you raving about BMW’s RT – wouldn’t one of its sportier siblings like the R1200S or the R1200R be an option? Less weight and heft than the RT, same suspension.
    So much choice…

  2. Long ago, somehow stumbled upon your cycle site.  Very nice indeed, nice layout, look and articles.  Not a clue where you reside…U.S. or England thouogh thinking not USA.  At any rate I had a 09 Suzuki DL650 which all the world seemd to love and guess I would have too save for a ‘nails in the coffe can’ sound that came from the engine.  A guy and his wife owed two of them; turns out his too (a 2009 model maybe) also had the same sound but he was hard of hearing and could not detect it.  Since his wifes older model did not have sound I ‘assumed’ simply his had an issue.  Well add mine to that list.  Sadly the dealer felt it normal and I lucked out and traded it for a used 2008 DL1000 but indeed the lighter weight, less muffler noise DL650 would have been my pick if only for that ‘nails in a coffee’ can sound once the revs got going.  They did have a non-abs orange color that I thought very nice.  If such a ride appeals to you be sure to listen hard before handing over the $$$.  Here in the US I had it shiped down from GA without having ridden it first.  Lesson learned.

  3. A triumph triple?  Supposed to be the best all around as far as trade offs between torque and horsepower.  Personally, I’ve always had a hankerin’ for a Guzzi (like a Breva), but I don’t think that’s going in the right direction for you.

  4. Consider a Honda CBR1100XX for a commute bike.  Fast, large enough to handle full sized riders.  Smooth and reliable.  Manuverable.

    Only issue is they are somewhat rare, but if you pay more than $5k for one, it should be an exceptionally clean example.

    Weak points?   Typical Honda charging system.  And it’s a chain drive.  They like the highway, and will get warm in town, but I’ve yet to hear of one dying of heat.  They just prefer the open road.   You’ll get about 150 miles per tank.  Linked brakes are sub-optimal, but they can be delinked cheaply.

    An active community is at CBR1100XX.org.     Tons of low priced mods are available.

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