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After reading this thought provoking thread and doing some reflecting I have decided to get a more exciting bike.

I have plenty of things to do that keep me busy but are for the most part boring.

I am on a pretty low budget but I do have excellent health insurance for the next few years thanks to my wife and I am just now signing up for medicare part A which is free for me due to my lifetime of contributions which covers hospitalization here in the united states, just not regular doctor visits...sigh health insurance here in the states is a nightmare.

So I find out there is a local Kart Track that hosts some supermoto (or supermotard for the Europeans) track events.

I have listed my old BV 250 for sale. I like it but prefer the smaller bikes so keeping the Liberty 150.

Now I am looking for something to be able to take out to the track. Basically a supermoto is a motocross style dirt bike with street wheels and tires. The funnest bike I ever had was a mid 90's KTM duke and I am looking for something similar.

Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Honda all make four stroke 450 motocross bikes that would work and of course the KTM and Husqvarna have offerings as well.

The class size for open amateur is 450 four stroke and 400 two stroke. In Nevada you can still get two stroke dirt bikes to be street legal, same as the four stroke motocrossers if you add the correct lights, turn signals and horn and go through the process at the DMV.

I like the idea of being able to ride on the street legally just so you get enough time on the bike to be really familiar with it. When I was commuting for work spending so much time on the bike made it feel like an extension of my body.

I have come to the conclusion that I need that excitement in my life. I am an adrenaline junkie and I don't want to quit, I need a little hit now and then just for maintenance. I am an otherwise responsible citizen...well sort of.

There, sorted.
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Molto Verboso
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Does Suzuki still sell its DRZ-400 SuperMoto?
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The Suzuki website says they are still in production.
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That's a surprise when Suzuki runs their models for longer than anyone else.

I really like the DRZ 400 but it's not ideal for highway riding which is my fav.
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Yeah, the DRZ400 is buzzy on the highway and after awhile is it mind numbing.
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Have you had a good luck at the Triumph Tiger range? Theres now 660, 850, 900 and 1200cc models available as well as 2nd hand 800cc models, which are of course the cream of the crop. 😎
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I still have an NSR but it is not CB500x related.

Well, except that both are Honda Clap emoticon
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I won't be touching Triumph for a few reasons.

1,They market themselves as a British Motorcycle but 80% of them are produced in Thailand, Brazil and now India. Only the remainder are assembled at Hinkley in the UK.

2, The Triumph Tiger 660 is about £2000 more new than the CB 500 X.

3, The Tiger 800's also suffer from stalling, overheating and oil leaks so I'll stick with the Honda.
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Well it's looking likely that I'll be buying a Honda CB 500 X in March next year.

I talked to an Independant Dealer yesterday who works closely with many Franchises within the UK and it looks likely that they will source a new bike through the network to purchace it at cost price and then sell it to me for less than the Branded one can.

Everyone seems to win. The Franchise sells another bike, The Indepenant does a deal, I get the bike I want at the price I want and from the people I like and they get the future servicing business.
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I put 13k mi on my '20 CB500X in the 18mo I had it - it was a terrific bike for me, and I had a really hard time deciding between putting in a Rally Raid suspension, or getting another bike.

In the end, I went with the another bike route, a '22 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro, which I love (and which has been reliable in the 12k mi I've put on it), but I still occasionally miss the little CB.

As others have said, the engine is not super thrilling (especially not compared to a 900cc triple), but it's plenty to get the job done, and I had no issues riding from SF to the MX border and back, and riding a couple thousand miles of mild/moderate dirt in total.

Handled quite well I thought, and was a lot of fun to flog in the twisties - a bit more nimble than the Tiger, and not toooo terrible to pick up when dropped.

The windscreen situation on the 500X was never quite satisfactory for me (6' tall), despite attempts at getting it right with deflectors and a big barn door of a Madstad & adjustable bracket (eventually got it to "not too bad").

Seat was pretty comfy, although I eventually put a Seat Concepts on it, which was great.

I never felt that Triumph is any less honest than anyone else who produces bikes in a country other than their "home" one (which is nearly all of them) - not like the CB500X is Japanese either (in fact, it's probably made next to the Tigers in Thailand).

The new Triumph 400s could be pretty killer at $5-5.7k, but of course time will have to tell on reliability, aftermarket, etc etc etc.

As long as you have realistic expectations for a 471cc P-Twin, I think you'd probably really like the 500X.
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Thank you for the valued input.

I'm about 3 inches shorter than you so I'm hoping that the screen will work for me.

Having owned a few Hondas before I realise that this won't be an exciting experience but that's OK as I'll happily trade something more iconic and absolute for reliability and anonymity.

I have a great friend who is on a mission to badger me into buying a Triumph and even though I get just how good they are they just don't do it for me.

Ducati's are the same. KTM's also.
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Yes, the Tigers, some, are produced in Thailand, but so is the Honda 500. And bikes built in England or Japan have plenty of components made in other countries.

I had a CB500F. Reliable no doubt, and fuel efficient, but it is a beginner bike, and purposely built to be that way. I know plenty of people love them, but there is a solid contingent who cannot live with the limitations.

The engine has no torque, and the bike is both noisy and breathless on the highway. I had mine for three months and sold it. I replaced it with a Yamaha T-Max 530 scooter which is a much better motorcycle than the CB 500. (Yes, a better 'motorcycle').

I have a Tiger 850 and regardless of being built in Thailand, it is an excellent bike. Very well built, nimble and it has an excellent weight balance.

Buy the 500 if you find it appealing, but personally, I'd go in with low expectations. If you are looking at alternatives, a 2017 or later V-Strom 650 is miles better in every way than the CB500, regardless of trim.
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When I was a lad, a 125cc was a beginner's bike. A 350 to 500cc was a middleweight, a 750cc was considered a large machine, basically the top, leaving out the Harleys, of course. Now, I consider a 250 a beginner's machine, yet many consider something as large as a Sportster a beginner's bike. And all around the world plenty of people are happy with a 125cc to get them around. Just sayin.....
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--Yeah but I don't think Honda ever wrapped itself in the home flag as many other manufactures have while their bikes are built out of country.

--Most Honda P-twins will not built to be torquey. The NC750 is an exception. Yamaha builds some of the best machines in the world, no argument there, but comparing a Tmax to a CB500 x is a bit of apples and oranges as they are built for different things. I have no doubt the Tmax is a fantastic road machine, but I would not want to take that scoot down a trail with it's extra 60 pounds over the CB.

--I found the DL to be a bit of a pig offroad. On road, it was fine, but the detuned engine from the wonderful SV series was bit boring.
In the end - it all comes down to what you want to use it for, comfortable with and buy accordingly. At 5'8" and 165 pounds, the Cb500x worked out great for me. If I never planned on going off road again, I would get another SV650 - a great all arounder.
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Agree 100%. It irks me that anything less than 150 bhp is considered a "beginner's bike" nowadays. First, a lot of experienced (okay, old) riders embrace bikes such as the 500X. Why must they always be dumbed down with base level suspension? Second, the vast majority of non-beginners bikes are basically unusable on the street if they're to be ridden in which the way they were designed. It's so much more fun to wring the next of a 500x than barely scratch the surface of a Speed Triple. You ride a BMW liter sport bike on the street at anywhere approaching the limit and you're an absolute menace to society.
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Well done on using the word Irks. It's very underused.

So here's a question - Why would an owner who has access to a 1100cc BMW and a Kawasaki KLV 1000 would be looking at a 500cc "Beginners Bike" if he was going to travel long distances ? And it's not about performance.

Answers on a postcard.
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Easy. Maneuverability and ease. I remember watching that Long Way Round movie and watching them struggle while thinking how much easier it would be on a KLR, for example. I like the Honda. You can count on it, and maintenance won't break the bank.
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Both valid but the real draw is that a 1997 air cooled boxer will probably return 42 mpg and a range of 220 miles ( on a good day ) and a 2004 watercooled 1000cc V Twin maybe 45 mpg with a range of 180 miles ( on a another ) but an engine of half that size can deliver 80 mpg with a distance of 250 miles plus.

Hmmmm strokes chin.
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Certainly the CB500X will return better mileage than the 2x+-engined bikes, but I wouldn't be counting on regular 250+mi/tanks on it - overall mileage was good - mostly around 50mpUSg (so around 60 mpUKg), but it did drop quite a bit with prolonged freeway flogging. Combination of aerodynamics and the fact it's working a bit at 75mph+ (and happy to do so for as long as you ask it to).

I'd say it's a very comfortable 200mi/tank, with usually a good bit of headroom beyond that. If you're gentle on the throttle and/or don't ride much freeway (I am not, and do, respectively), you can probably do better than I did.

I also agree it's irksome that there's so little in the premium-but-not-huge segment - a well-optioned <450# 500-650 ADV bike from one of the reliable'ish makes (sorry Aprilia) would be very welcome. If there was a Tiger 660 Rally Pro, I'd have bought that for sure over the 900. TransAlp is close, but still a bit big.
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sotomoto_sf wrote:
I'd say it's a very comfortable 200mi/tank, with usually a good bit of headroom beyond that.
This ^^^
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I have an idea. In the middle of next year I'll put this to the test.

How does that sound ?
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UTC quote
speed kills, as they reminded in the early 70's...

A large engine with good low-end grunt can do amazing mpg -but not when ridden fast.

I have no problems reaching 220miles with my completely naked 1200cc Bonneville...could do more, but then I'd have to concentrate on how to ride.

The catch is, speed can't be much over 62 mph, barely enough to use the tallest gear. Enough for me, not for fast tracking through a continent.
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Speed never killed anyone. It's the sudden deceleration that hurts.
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JenniferJupiter wrote:
Speed never killed anyone. It's the sudden deceleration that hurts.
Truth. That and abject stupidity on the part of the rider and/or the other fool involved.
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Bill Dog wrote:
I won't be touching Triumph for a few reasons.

1,They market themselves as a British Motorcycle but 80% of them are produced in Thailand, Brazil and now India. Only the remainder are assembled at Hinkley in the UK.

2, The Triumph Tiger 660 is about £2000 more new than the CB 500 X.

3, The Tiger 800's also suffer from stalling, overheating and oil leaks so I'll stick with the Honda.
Yes, but can you really put a price on personality? Cause that's something the CB500X will never have.

Don't get me wrong. My buddy put over 100,000 km on his CB500X before selling it. He took it from Toronto to Alaska to Panama and pretty much everywhere in between.

It's capable. It's just, you know you're on a small displacement bike. And not on the premium side either. Which isn't to say fit or finish is bad at all, it isn't, it's typical Honda quality. No complaints. But, I used to have a CB500F, and I found the riding experience felt like I was on a 250 again in that, constantly having to shift gears up and down to stay in the powerband, kind of way.

I get the appeal of a lighter baby tourer/adv. Just did 25 days across Italy on my BMW G650GS this summer... but all I'm saying is, maybe give that one a thorough test ride before you put money down. Make sure you understand where the limitations are and that they don't bother you.

PS: The G650GS has a very short first gear, very annoying, but the rest of the gears were taller and adequate.
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I had a Benelli Leoncino 500 for about 3 Months and I didn't miss the power.

It also had an engine that you had to stir to get the best out of it.
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Define personality. The feeling of gobs of power, a big throbbing engine, lots of vibration while attracting looks from others? If that is personality, yeah I get it. But I also got over it a long time ago. I want a machine that does just enough, is quiet and reliable attacking the least amount of attention. Everything else is just noise.
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What he just said.
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Tierney wrote:
Define personality. The feeling of gobs of power, a big throbbing engine, lots of vibration while attracting looks from others? If that is personality, yeah I get it. But I also got over it a long time ago. I want a machine that does just enough, is quiet and reliable attacking the least amount of attention. Everything else is just noise.
I agree
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Bill Dog wrote:
I won't be touching Triumph for a few reasons.


3, The Tiger 800's also suffer from stalling, overheating and oil leaks so I'll stick with the Honda.
You clearly haven't got a clue what you are posting here have you. ROFL emoticon
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UTC quote
Tierney wrote:
Define personality. The feeling of gobs of power, a big throbbing engine, lots of vibration while attracting looks from others? If that is personality, yeah I get it. But I also got over it a long time ago. I want a machine that does just enough, is quiet and reliable attacking the least amount of attention. Everything else is just noise.
What?

Personality in a motorcycle has nothing to do with how much power it makes or whether or not people look at it. It has to do with the motorcycle's behavior. How it makes whatever power it does manage to make.

A bike with character, when you're on, you know exactly what machine you're on, it's an experience all of it's own.

Right now I have a Guzzi V7/750, an Enfield 650, and a Bonneville 865 in the garage.

The Guzzi and the Enfield have their unique quirks, their own traits. If you were on the back seat of either one, blindfolded, among a dozen other vanilla motorcycles that day, you would know which two were the Enfield and the Guzzi. Both are slow motorcycles. Speed has nothing to do with it.

That Bonneville is the fastest of the trio of retros in my garage, and it has zero character.

My Bonneville compared to my other two retros is like a boring accountant neighbour that you never invite over for dinner because he will put you to sleep. Sure he's a nice guy, keeps his lawn mowed and his property tidy, but... he's painfully vanilla and dull.

My old CB500F was equally dull. It did the job, with an excessive amount of shifting, but it never made me think, "Wow, this 500 really is fun!" it was just a generic, cookie cutter, dime a dozen riding experience. If that's what you're after and you're under 5'11", the 500X is a really good bike.
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Personality is when an XR750 actually speaks to you upon deceleration.You can actually hear words in the popping sound. Character is when your 750SS refuses to speak to anyone, or do anything, until he sees Mike in Elysburg. A bike with a huge character is Cagiva Elefant that can assume the Lotus position (on a trailer). It's how we justify unreliable tools or rolling art. I'm ready to do without character or personality in my next bike. Maybe a little Tenere.
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Bill Dog wrote:
Well it's looking likely that I'll be buying a Honda CB 500 X in March next year.

I talked to an Independant Dealer yesterday who works closely with many Franchises within the UK and it looks likely that they will source a new bike through the network to purchace it at cost price and then sell it to me for less than the Branded one can.

Everyone seems to win. The Franchise sells another bike, The Indepenant does a deal, I get the bike I want at the price I want and from the people I like and they get the future servicing business.
That bike sure has a lot of positive reviews.
I want a red one.
Have loved all 5 (+ 1 scooter) of my Hondas over the past 57 yrs.
O.S.
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JenniferJupiter wrote:
Personality is when an XR750 actually speaks to you upon deceleration.You can actually hear words in the popping sound. Character is when your 750SS refuses to speak to anyone, or do anything, until he sees Mike in Elysburg. A bike with a huge character is Cagiva Elefant that can assume the Lotus position (on a trailer). It's how we justify unreliable tools or rolling art. I'm ready to do without character or personality in my next bike. Maybe a little Tenere.
Great summary. I like having bikes with character, personality, charm, charisma, bravado, all of it, and some bikes without too... It's Yin and Yang. They're opposites that are best together.
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I've had a few Hondas in the past the most recent being the NC 750 DCT which made me feel totally uninvolved in the decision making process so I know what to expect. Solid,reliable,boring.

The R1100RT is constantly broken but I've never owned a bike that makes me want to ride it so much.

It handles like it's on rails, it's fast, comfortable and the brakes defy the laws of physics because nothing that heavy should stop so quickly but it takes real application to ride which makes it very satisfying when you get it right.

Embarrassing when you get it wrong but for something so Germanic it has real character. It's something that modern bikes seem to have lost.

Logic says that I should get it fixed again and sell it but they don't make bikes that that anymore.
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Location: Tega Cay, SC
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6396
Location: Tega Cay, SC
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I read some of the links you put up Bill. Do you think some one performed crazy ritual and awoke Lucas (the prince of darkness)? Reminds me of a 1971 Bonneville I once owned. Talk about a bike with "personality and character", that scoot had loads of both - that is, when it was running and did not leave me by the side of the road.
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6396
Location: Tega Cay, SC
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6396
Location: Tega Cay, SC
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So Personality may be the behavior of the bike. That's just a product of the engineering done to make the bike work the way it does. Character is just your reaction to it: Someone rolls up with a bike with Cobra pipes popping on deceleration because the carb/fi is set up wrong to a traffic light. Of course he revs it a bit for attention, thinks it sounds cool, but really has no reason to know why he does it. It's just something he has seen other bikers do. He won't know that some bikes years ago had carbs that would not idle, you had to blip the throttle to keep it running. But he's just happy to be riding and making noise, enjoying the rumble. This bike has Character. It is the way it makes him feel he is riding a powerful machine. Nothing wrong with that, it's his bike and he likes it.
As far as shifting goes, I recently read that the Honda CBR1000rr would supposed go up to 99 mph in just first gear. So a motorcycle journalist put it to the test. He did not get it up to 99 because of logistics (not enough open road) but he did get it up to 75 on his commute home. Never touched the shifter once. To be that would a waste and a bore. Different strokes.....
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BMW R1100RT The Problem Child Kymco Downtown 300 - I'm not the Uber
Joined: UTC
Posts: 19757
Location: South East Great England of Britishland
 
eeeee bip
@bill_dog avatar
BMW R1100RT The Problem Child Kymco Downtown 300 - I'm not the Uber
Joined: UTC
Posts: 19757
Location: South East Great England of Britishland
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To be fair on the RT, it's never actually stopped working but it's consistently breaking in interesting and varied ways.

Fixing the Boxer is never an easy process because no one really wants to work on it, not even Motorrad Dealers want to touch something so old so until I find another exciting and eclectic way of mending it I'm going to put my faith in Taiwanese and Japanese reliability.
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6396
Location: Tega Cay, SC
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6396
Location: Tega Cay, SC
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It's the same over here with some brands of motorcycles. I was working on a 2011 Sportster for a client and it needed a few parts before said client was going on a long trip. So, clutch cables, throttle cables, etc... Called the local dealership to see if they had them in stock or could order. Nope, they told me that year bike was obsolete. Seriously. I took my business to a shop that works on bikes more than ten years old, no problems.
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