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Kawa W800 not available in the USA at least not at this time, or based on the research I've done. fares very well in comparisons to Bonnies and V7's.
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That V7 Cafe Classic is BEAUTIFUL.

Damn.

I'm working on restoring an old Airhead...that'll be my second ride.
1973 BMW r60/5... that's a really cool bike too. Gonna do a café racer style setup...
Can't wait!

GL in your quest!
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Re: An Itch for a Motorcycle (That won't go away)
petermike wrote:
With 6 months experience on the Scooter, Freeways, Urban, Canyons and the MSF course, I feel like I have legs on 2 wheels. Navigating turns, cars, idiots etc.
Am I still a beginner?? Is my lane splitting, confidence ill advised?
I am a grown-up and not stupid. I have a sense of mortality and all...
How much bike is too much bike having ridden the 300 GTV for these past months?

I love the Bonneville, Moto Guzzi V7, naked bike thing.
I love bigger bikes too, BMW f800, I lust for the Ducati Diavel...

The experience has got to count for something.

Talk me down...
To answer your first question, yes, you are still a beginner. Lane-splitting confidence ill-advised? Probably. As someone who doesn't have a ton of experience, you're lacking skill in what to do/not do when conditions aren't perfect. You can handle one sketchy situation now, but what happens when two bad things happen at once? No worries--you'll get better every day.

Learn, practice, learn, practice, and you will be safer in time. You will look back 5 years from now and wonder how you didn't end up a hood ornament. Keep learning and striving to be better every time you ride. Confidence is necessary on the road, but overconfidence can be dangerous.

Regarding the bikes--you can probably easily handle the BMW F800 because it's made to be a road bike--not a replica race bike. Modern standards look like old technology and are heavier, but they're surprisingly good with a lower center of gravity. And keep in mind that bigger displacements don't necessarily mean bigger/heavier. The BMW F800 is most likely smaller and lighter than the Guzzi.

Motorcycles have legs--they can go far, go fast, with ease. Ride to the mountains, ride to the ocean, no problem. Power and suspension--that's where they excel. Scooters are perfect city vehicles. For running errands, there's no better form of transport, imho. Storage, low speed maneuverability, ease of hopping on and off, 2-up, are all awesome qualities of scooters.

If you can, have a scooter for town running around and a motorcycle for longer distance, touring, riding the twisties, overnight trips, etc. They are much better suited to highways, twisties, and bumpy roads.

If you can only have one or the other, then it's up to you--get what you like or you won't ride it much. What makes your pulse jump? I highly recommend figuring out what you want and then buying used. That way, you will have a much better chance of owning both. This most likely won't be your last bike, so no need investing huge sums of $$. It may not be the bike for you after all. Buying used and selling used saves you cash.

If I had to have one bike, it would probably be a a motorcycle, but I can't say for sure. They do different things better, so it's a difficult choice.

BTW, earning to shift is a non-issue . . shouldn't take you long to master. The "bike too fast" thing is interesting to me. I think that you decide how fast to go, how fast you accelerate. If you have a decent head on your shoulders, you should be fine.

Have fun out there,

--Kevin
Sonoma County, CA
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Desmolicious wrote:
You should read Motorcyclist Magazine's long term review on that bike - Honda NT650 aka Deaville.
Thanks for tip. I just read the article.
Desmolicious wrote:
To take off the rear wheel took 2.5 hours as lots of stuff including the exhaust system had to be removed. And it is slow.
Kind of like the GTS. Except the GTS is fast.
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For those of you interested in the Moto V7
Check out this article

http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/roadtests/1002_crup_the_8k_motorcycle_class/index.html

Not the worst review, but they felt it had definite flaws.

My vote would be for the Bonneville. I actually went to a dealership to check out the Bonnie America. It had the same problem all cruisers have - seat is too low, and my legs were folded up too much. Beautiful bike though. Other than looks (and corresponding image), I think I still prefer my Silverwing.
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DougL wrote:
http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/News/newsresults/videos/2011/March/mar1811-video-kawasaki-w800-grouptest/Kawasaki/W800/_/R-EPI-129603
Quote:
The new Kawasaki W800 has come out on top in MCN's world first group test of the latest retro roadsters.

The new Kawasaki is essentially a revival of the old W650 which was dropped from Kawasaki's line-up in 2006. The revived version not only boasts a larger capacity but also fuel injection for the first time and a host of cosmetic updates.

To find out how good these updates have made the new Kawasaki we pitted it against its closest rivals - Triumph's Bonneville T100 and the Moto Guzzi V7 Classic - and it was the W800 which proved the favourite of two of our three testers.

At the end of the test MCN Chief Road Tester Trevor Franklin concluded: "Two of the three test riders placed Kawasaki's W800 ahead of Triumph's T100 Bonneville.

"Both gave the same reasons: a lovely bike to ride because of its comfort, styling and easy-going engine with performance to suit its style."

Thanks for that.
I wonder if the cosmetic upgrades include better quality materials?

It will be very interesting to see what BIKE magazine says.
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Desmolicious wrote:
Thanks for that.
I wonder if the cosmetic upgrades include better quality materials?

It will be very interesting to see what BIKE magazine says.
Bike says:

"...the Kawasaki's detailing and finish feel more considered and better executed."
"The Bonneville is a great bike. But the W800 is superior. "
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A scooter is a motorcycle with a step through frame, and in many cases these days an auto trans. Nerd emoticon

Or maybe it's a motorbike? Call it what you will, it has a motor and two wheels!
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I would dearly love to have a motorcycle, preferably a small cruiser or café racer, but I have to deal with reality. Several years ago, I had a motorcycle, a beautiful black Honda Shadow. I had a dispute with gravity, and gravity won. Result: one spiral fracture of the tibia, and two simple fractures of the fibula, and a titanium rod from my knee to my ankle. Well, a man's gotta know his limitations. I now understand that I love the idea of motorcycles, but the reality is perhaps beyond my abilities.
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TheWasp wrote:
A scooter is a motorcycle with a step through frame, and in many cases these days an auto trans. Nerd emoticon
Hmmm. Yes - but. A scooter excels at some things a motorcylce doesn't, the right mtorcycle at other functions a scooter is ill-equipped for. Hence the OP and a few others looking for advice on the best motorcycle to complement their scooter.

The great thing is that, once you eliminate the scooter function from your motorcycle wishlist, it's one less compromise in finding the perfect bike for your use (whatever that may be).

A scooter is, of course, quite perfect in its form and function for its two main uses:
1) getting around the urban environment
2) putting a smile on your face!
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The complement moto
"Hmmm. Yes - but. A scooter excels at some things a motorcylce doesn't, the right motorcycle at other functions a scooter is ill-equipped for. Hence the OP and a few others looking for advice on the best motorcycle to complement their scooter."

The Vespa is, for me, great for around town, with the occasional brief freeway episode which can't be avoided. Vespas are nimble and small.

A complementary moto for me is a lightweight sportbike, a Ninja 250r or the newly-available Honda CBR250R. Both much better at speed than a Vespa for a freeway jaunt, but also exceedingly nimble, easier to turn, and only very slightly heavier than a Vespa.

I've had bigger bikes (Honda CB750) and several smaller ones (CB250 and several 250 dirtbikes). Big bikes aren't nimble, but they have enormous power and you can cruise on the freeway to your heart's content. It's just that crusing on the freeway does not content my heart in any way. If they tore down all the freeways, I'd be very happy. And I hope they will.

The new Honda lightweight sportbike:
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
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Re: The complement moto
[quote="MicheleOcla"...you can cruise on the freeway to your heart's content. It's just that cruising on the freeway does not content my heart in any way.
[/quote]

yes
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If you're thinking about a V7, I'd go for a real one.
External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text
Those old tractors will run to the end of the world and back.
But my dad says his BV200 is a more comfortable touring machine.
I'd go for a BMW R60. The old Earles fork bikes were plush.

Claude
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That V 7 classic is a fine bike. It has about 48 hp. Which should be fine for a beginner. It is also a bike more experienced riders like. Check out the site wildguzzi.com. Several people have recently purchased one and love it. Cafe calssic magazine has one as a project bike. I really like that bike as well but already have a Moto guzzi griso and want a vintage vespa next. I've test rode the bonneville se last year and that bike is very scooter like. Just easy to ride but I bet the guzzi has more character. The diavel is in no way a good first bike plus its around $17k you're out if you dump it.
http://www.autoblog.com/2009/09/30/review-moto-guzzi-v7-classic-is-an-italian-beauty-you-can-live/
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The Kawasaki is not available in the USA.
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I'd be very interested in a V7 Guzzi....but 'painting' that nice V-twin engine black is simply unforgivable to me...as is the fact that they managed to castrate it down to 48hp, which puts it somewhere south of the 650 Burgman for thrust.

My Bonneville T100 is supposed to have 60hp, and thats fine, but I wouldn't want it to have any less than that considering that it's an 800cc machine. It's what you might call 'peppy' or 'useful' in a practical sense, but far from overly powerful...which fits it's character just fine.
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Desmolicious wrote:
Knight Train wrote:
However, a motorcycle is a lot of work. Mine is chain driven which means that eveyr 400 miles or so, I'm out with my 'grunge brush", chain cleaner and chain lube cleaning and re oiling a chain. Not so much a Vespa.

Do you really do that every 400 miles?

About once every 500 miles I give the chain on my Ducati a quick spritz with Dupont Teflon chain lube. It takes about 2 minutes. That's it. I'm still on the original chain and sprockets with 24,000 miles on them. They still look good.
yup...
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There's an alternative
Knight Train wrote:
Desmolicious wrote:
Knight Train wrote:
However, a motorcycle is a lot of work. Mine is chain driven which means that eveyr 400 miles or so, I'm out with my 'grunge brush", chain cleaner and chain lube cleaning and re oiling a chain. Not so much a Vespa.

Do you really do that every 400 miles?

About once every 500 miles I give the chain on my Ducati a quick spritz with Dupont Teflon chain lube. It takes about 2 minutes. That's it. I'm still on the original chain and sprockets with 24,000 miles on them. They still look good.
yup...
You can also put any number of aftermarket automatic oilers on a chain-driven bike. I've used a Scottoiler. Install, adjust, make sure the reservoir stays full, and you have very little chain maintenance to worry about.
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You love your Vespa which you had since Nov
But want something else???!!!

I agree, get a motorcycle it will be great to have.
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Tokkyu40 wrote:
If you're thinking about a V7, I'd go for a real one.
External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text
Those old tractors will run to the end of the world and back.
But my dad says his BV200 is a more comfortable touring machine.
I'd go for a BMW R60. The old Earles fork bikes were plush.

Claude
If I'm not mistaken, I think this is actually a Guzzi El Dorado.
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I told a colleague I'd just gotten a Vespa and she smiled and said, so when will you be getting a motorcycle? And I laughed: never! Now I'm laughing again, reading this thread and seeing that this is actually what could happen!
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GTS owners are often partial to Italian design, and the V7 is such a beautiful bike. I decided to go for one just on the looks, but the test drive was a huge dissapointment. Riding position was cramped and the enginge felt strangled, like it couldn't breathe properly on higher revs. I then moved on to my second choice, also based solely on the looks; the Triumph Bonneville. And Man what a difference. This is the perfect upgrade from the GTS, well suitable as a first bike. It handles smoothly and is very predictable in both accelleration and braking. Needless to say, I couldn't part from my GTS so I now drive the Vespa for my daily commute, and take the Bonnie out for longer hauls on weekends and vacations. The GTS is still my favourite, and if I had to go with just one, I'd keep the Vespa.
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Having hung around this site for a year or three now, I find it interesting that, among motorcycles, the Triumph Bonneville seems like an almost universal favorite among Vespa riders who express a tendancy to wander from 'the camp' a bit, so to speak.
Nerd emoticon

As a Bonneville T100 owner, I can understand this phenomena.
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Re: There's an alternative
MicheleOcla wrote:
Knight Train wrote:
Desmolicious wrote:
Knight Train wrote:
However, a motorcycle is a lot of work. Mine is chain driven which means that eveyr 400 miles or so, I'm out with my 'grunge brush", chain cleaner and chain lube cleaning and re oiling a chain. Not so much a Vespa.

Do you really do that every 400 miles?

About once every 500 miles I give the chain on my Ducati a quick spritz with Dupont Teflon chain lube. It takes about 2 minutes. That's it. I'm still on the original chain and sprockets with 24,000 miles on them. They still look good.
yup...
You can also put any number of aftermarket automatic oilers on a chain-driven bike. I've used a Scottoiler. Install, adjust, make sure the reservoir stays full, and you have very little chain maintenance to worry about.
Well yes, but half the fun is bitching about the maintenance!!!
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Scooterdoodler wrote:
Having hung around this site for a year or three now, I find it interesting that, among motorcycles, the Triumph Bonneville seems like an almost universal favorite among Vespa riders who express a tendancy to wander from 'the camp' a bit, so to speak.
Nerd emoticon

As a Bonneville T100 owner, I can understand this phenomena.
No quite - the Bonnie is a favourite o' mine and my sister has a lovely T100. The white / red V7 is my other darlin' ... but both have sacrificed a bit of modern capability for retro looks.

The tyrant and I ride what is both the pinnacle of the modern (yet slightly retro) all-round road bike, and an expression of superb taste.
108 hp @ 7500
115 nm @ 6000
198kg dry
790 mm seat height
linked brakes w ABS and traction control
quickish steering with solid open road stability
... once I say Telelever suspension and shaft drive I give the game away
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
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Caroanbill wrote:
The tyrant and I ride what is both the pinnacle of the modern (yet slightly retro) all-round road bike, and an expression of superb taste.


External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text
Love love love love your bike.
The R12R is my "step up" bike next year.
One more year of practice on the CS . . .
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Caroanbill wrote:
Scooterdoodler wrote:
Having hung around this site for a year or three now, I find it interesting that, among motorcycles, the Triumph Bonneville seems like an almost universal favorite among Vespa riders who express a tendancy to wander from 'the camp' a bit, so to speak.
Nerd emoticon

As a Bonneville T100 owner, I can understand this phenomena.
No quite - the Bonnie is a favourite o' mine and my sister has a lovely T100. The white / red V7 is my other darlin' ... but both have sacrificed a bit of modern capability for retro looks.
Perhaps, but near-rabid fan that I am of the bike, and as wonderful and retro-licious as the Bonneville is, I would never own one as my only motorcycle...precisely because of it's limited capability...but that's why God made other bikes that fill those particular niches that the Bonneville is lacking in....but come to think of it, my T100 is a lot easier on my head to own and ride than our Kawasaki 1400 Concours is ('was', I should say...it's currently off on 'consignment'). I don't even want to find that one-bike-that-can-do-everything anymore, because every time I think I've found it, my criteria for universal happiness has changed and the new 'wonder bike of the moment' comes up short in some category or two.

Anymore, I just buy bikes that look like they might be fun to ride, and the heck with the rest.
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Motorcycle an alternative 2nd Ride to a Scoot?
Been following this post and have to say YES, if you want something that will eclipse the Modern Vespa scooter...a motorcylce will kick down the barriers. Now I am not diss'ing scooters...just that a motocycle is very specialized where as a scooter is more a general purpose "Street ride".

I have a Harley and have to say it does everything the Vespa does, but magnified in size, mass, expense and power. But it is MORE comfortable than the scoot for long rides at higher speeds (honestly the small wheels cause the Vespa to wander, and crosswinds illicit that wobbly/shimmy that just does not happen with bigger iron). Storage/Payload goes up as well as comfort, riding two-up is a breeze on a motorcycle, the scoot not so much.

Bottom line, would not trade either because they both suit the purpose they were purchased for. I have to say the smiles per mile quotient would be the same if I had not been riding motocycles so much longer than the Vespa. But the same reasons I like the Harley cruiser are the same reasons I no longer ride a full on Metric sportbike. The Harley cruiser is a relaxed ride, where you can easily reel off 600 miles without feeling tired, Katana sportbike is frenetic, full face helmet is mind numbing, attention constantly looking at road conditions, tactics, head checks. Physically draining, weight on hands/wrists, balls of the feet with constantly rowing of the shifter, throttle, brakes and body to keep the bike in perfect position in the power band. When you climb off the bike, which one do you remember the ride getting to your destination...answer is easy. Use a 2nd motorcycle to eclipse what the scooter does not...best thing regarding smiles per mile! Razz emoticon
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A philosophy to live -er- ride by!
Scooterdoodler wrote:
Anymore, I just buy bikes that look like they might be fun to ride, and the heck with the rest.
What a motto!
stinkyjones wrote:
The R12R is my "step up" bike next year.
One more year of practice on the CS . . .
The transition was actually pretty easy - I had my CS 4 years before the R12R (with an ill-suited R1150RS in there somewhere too). The R12R is only 30kg up on the CS - though it is double the power and torque. As great as the CS is as a citybike / light tourer, the R12R is rolling perfection (telelever is a great country / open road suspension).

Had the CS and R12R together for a couple of years - a nice cobination until the CS went to my sister (not the one with the T100)

then I got into scooters - yay!

GTS250 plus R12R = city perfection + bush/open country competence
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The ultimate complement to a Vespa?

Feast your eyes on this Guzzi:

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

If yer gonna step up to a Guzzi, step up!
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Location: Detroit
UTC quote
I do love that color and leather seat. A little doubtful on the wire wheels. I think they leak a bit.
@desmolicious avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3727
Location: Venice Beach, CA
 
Ossessionato
@desmolicious avatar
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3727
Location: Venice Beach, CA
UTC quote
shadydevil74 wrote:
I do love that color and leather seat. A little doubtful on the wire wheels. I think they leak a bit.
No reports of leaking.

But you could always swap them out with another Griso w. cast wheels.
@dougl avatar
UTC

El Macho
KTM Super Duke 1290, Vespa GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 9047
Location: Porto 4050-570
 
El Macho
@dougl avatar
KTM Super Duke 1290, Vespa GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 9047
Location: Porto 4050-570
UTC quote
My complement to the Vespa is this:

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

Unfortunately I am only licensed to ride automatic bikes so much of this eye candy is out of reach.
@mbelleville avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
Vespa LX150 "Belissimo"
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1043
Location: Boston
 
Molto Verboso
@mbelleville avatar
Vespa LX150 "Belissimo"
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1043
Location: Boston
UTC quote
Re: An Itch for a Motorcycle (That won't go away)
petermike wrote:
I have had my Vespa since November. A life alerting experience, my first PTW. I feel burned in that I waited to long to fall in love with this exhilarating pastime. I love love love my Vespa. I go everywhere on it. I have 2 cars, one of which is turbo-chared upscale German sports car, and I prefer riding my scoot.
How come I can't stop thinking about motorcycles? I went out to the (world famous) Rock Store today in Malibu, winding with confidence through the twisties on the Vespa. I've been there twice before on it and I have never ever seen another scooter among the 100's of bad ass PTW's there on a Sunday. I heard 2 old douche bags snickering about the scooter that pulled in...
I really don't give a s*#t what others think. I am super
proud of the Vespa and it gets plenty of attention. I don't need attention.
I need fun, and I look to the experience of the peeps here to advise me on a few points:
With 6 months experience on the Scooter, Freeways, Urban, Canyons and the MSF course, I feel like I have legs on 2 wheels. Navigating turns, cars, idiots etc.
Am I still a beginner?? Is my lane splitting, confidence ill advised?
I am a grown-up and not stupid. I have a sense of mortality and all...
How much bike is too much bike having ridden the 300 GTV for these past months?

I love the Bonneville, Moto Guzzi V7, naked bike thing.
I love bigger bikes too, BMW f800, I lust for the Ducati Diavel...

The experience has got to count for something.

Talk me down...
Must be something about us Vespa owners and our love of the Bonneville. I totally covet one....but not to replace my beloved Vespa
@scooterdoodler avatar
UTC

Banned
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2778
Location: Rapid City, SD
 
Banned
@scooterdoodler avatar
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2778
Location: Rapid City, SD
UTC quote
Hard as I try to scratch it (not very hard really) my 'itch' just won't seem to go away.....bought one of these today..

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

Exactly twenty years since my first one.....
External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text
@2011super avatar
UTC

Banned
2021 GTS 300 Touring
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4037
Location: Irvine, CA
 
Banned
@2011super avatar
2021 GTS 300 Touring
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4037
Location: Irvine, CA
UTC quote
Scooterdoodler wrote:
Hard as I try to scratch it (not very hard really) my 'itch' just won't seem to go away.....bought one of these today..

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

Exactly twenty years since my first one.....
External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text
Nice! Its the Swiss knife of bikes. I love KLRs and I bet you will be spending some time over at the Adventure Forums now? Congratulations.
OP
@petermike avatar
UTC

Enthusiast
GTV 300, Ducati Diavel, BMW K1600
Joined: UTC
Posts: 55
Location: Los Angeles
 
Enthusiast
@petermike avatar
GTV 300, Ducati Diavel, BMW K1600
Joined: UTC
Posts: 55
Location: Los Angeles
UTC quote
Interesting day yesterday. Went to local Triumph dealer and sat on Bonnies & Scrambler. Being 6'3" 225 the dealer assured me that most looked too small for me. Scrambler was OK. Then he got me on the Tiger. While he assured me that the Triples were too much bike, he thought given size and experience Tiger ABS would not be a reckless choice, one to grow into...Thoughts?
side note: Obama was in town traffic nightmare. Getting to dealer and home on Vespa was so easy as to be unfair to poor cagers!
@2011super avatar
UTC

Banned
2021 GTS 300 Touring
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4037
Location: Irvine, CA
 
Banned
@2011super avatar
2021 GTS 300 Touring
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4037
Location: Irvine, CA
UTC quote
petermike wrote:
Interesting day yesterday. Went to local Triumph dealer and sat on Bonnies & Scrambler. Being 6'3" 225 the dealer assured me that most looked too small for me. Scrambler was OK. Then he got me on the Tiger. While he assured me that the Triples were too much bike, he thought given size and experience Tiger ABS would not be a reckless choice, one to grow into...Thoughts?
side note: Obama was in town traffic nightmare. Getting to dealer and home on Vespa was so easy as to be unfair to poor cagers!
Sit on a KLR, or a Vstrom and see what you think. Much less money and very good bikes.
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