Contemplating a new ride for 2020. Suggestions? | GTAMotorcycle.com

Contemplating a new ride for 2020. Suggestions?

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
Well, My VTX has been trusty to the extreme - I've put almost 100,000KM on it in the 5 years I've owned it and aside from 1 battery (when I bought it), a new front master cylinder, and a few sets of tires, it's been a rock through thick and thin, hell, and high water.

But for the type or riding I enjoy more and seem to be doing more and more (endurance / long touring) it's less than ideal due to lack of storage. The saddlebags are small (my rain gear alone fills one entire bag, and my first aid kit and a few other things 3/4 fills my second one) so when I travel *everything* is piled on via external luggage. That's crappy when you hit rain for obvious reasons (I'm tired of sitting on the side of the road trying to pull on rain covers and garbage bags over luggage and camping gear), but also less than ideal when you're parking somewhere insecure for an hour or so and you can't lock anything up.

So, I'm looking at more of a proper touring bike/full decker with larger hard saddlebags and (most importantly) a top box. Difficulty: $10,000 price range, and a cruiser - not interested in a sport touring or anything else. There's a few reasons behind that goal, one being frugal (I'm not paying $20-$30K for something that sits in my garage 4-6 months of the year) and secondly, in another 3-4 years again I'll likely move onto something different again...long term goal, that's another story.

I've been hunting around online and have found a few prospects (Yep, even a few HD's, but that's another story, below) but I'm left feeling like there's some more makes/models that I'm just not seeing.
  • I like the Victory touring models and the fact they're discontinued don't really bother me, but I'm amazed at how much they're holding their value. In short, outside my price goal territory.
  • I'm not ready for a Goldwing. I've rode a few now but although they have all the comforts, bells and whistles, and fit all the bills so far as storage and such, I just feel like they lack character. I guess this is why I'm still leaning towards a cruiser.
  • The Kawasaki Voyager is a prospect and certainly hits all the goals, but I've just never really been totally in love with the look of the front end.
  • Ditto the Yamaha Venture Star. Nails all the requirements but I like the front end even less than the Voyager.
  • Looked at a few HD Ultras. But the price goal puts me into the evo engine generation (and high-ish mileage on top of that all) which is the notorious cam chain tensioner ticking time bomb era. Instantly ruling out any that haven't at *least* had the upgrade to the hydraulic tensioner already done, and leaned more towards ones with the full gear upgrades, but it seems like *all* the prospects have been molested with tuners, and of those many are owned by man-children (based on the Facebook profiles) who have likely thrashed them. Given the Evo's were hardly the most reliable engines to begin with I can NOT risk buying something that's going to strand me on the side of the road somewhere in the middle of a 5000KM ride, and the recommendation even for the hydraulic tensioners is to do a visual inspection every 10,000KM, and you're supposed to carefully warm them up before riding as well. I don't have the time or interest in doing that kind of crap...I just want to ride.
  • Buddy owns a FJR and loves it. Got the top box add-on and hard side bags. Lots of storage and certainly a ton of performance. But just not a cruiser so just doesn't fully turn my crank, and I really don't like the legs directly under me seating style either.
  • Seeing lots of bikes like my VTX with mishmashed aftermarket hardbag/top box combinations that really just don't look right, so anything that's not factory is out of the question.
Anyhow, any suggestions one options that might be flying under my radar?
 

Mad Mike

Well-known member
I don't know what your style vs functionality mix is. I've toured on just about everything you can think of except HDs. Up until last year I was dead set on big STs for touring -- they have the best all-day ergos, you can pack them like a mule, 2 up is fine, leisurely ride 80km backroads and 90MPH stretches of Interstate all day long. You can also embarrass just about anything on the road when it comes to performance. The downside to big STs is they are terrible in urban traffic. FJR, Connie, BMW RT.

Lately I've started to like big ADVs - Vstroms, VFR1200x, GS, SuperTens, Capos, Multistradas, Tigers. They check almost the same boxes as ST's but offer a bit more rugged road capability and good used well equipped specimens are well within a $10K budget.
 

bigpoppa

Well-known member
I know you said no to sport touring, but what about adventure bikes? They're very capable and do everything.
 

Klaatu

Well-known member
Site Supporter
The manufacturers show is in a few weeks, you may not be in the market for a new bike, but it will let you compare a number of bikes, then just go find one a few years older. It's nice to be able to go back and forth between 2 or 3 bikes in a short period of time.
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
I know you said no to sport touring, but what about adventure bikes? They're very capable and do everything.
Not my bag either. I'm quite happy riding my mobile couch on gravel and dirt roads when needed, and blasting off intentionally onto logging roads and such isn't one of my desires, so an adventure bike really just doesn't fit my desires at this point.

The manufacturers show is in a few weeks, you may not be in the market for a new bike, but it will let you compare a number of bikes, then just go find one a few years older. It's nice to be able to go back and forth between 2 or 3 bikes in a short period of time.
Thanks, yes, will keep it in mind. The only problem is that I'll get my heart set on some shiny new 2020 model, and next thing ya know.... ;)

What I ultimately want in 4-5 years (which is what I was alluding to) is a 2017+ generation Star Venture, but right now they're still in the ~$25K range, so whatever I go get this year is just a stepping stone.
 

Brian P

Well-known member
Moderator
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I have a funny feeling that if the VTX was short on luggage capacity, most ADVs will be worse. The default standard of comparison in that class is the BMW R1200GS. It might not have huge factory luggage capacity but every conceivable aftermarket accessory is available for those.

Definitely go to the bike show and do some test-sitting.
 

Robbo

Well-known member
Keep the VTX for a few more years and put the money saved towards the Star Venture (ie buy it in 3 years rather than 5).


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Mad Mike

Well-known member
I have a funny feeling that if the VTX was short on luggage capacity, most ADVs will be worse. ....
Most ADVs have more luggage capacity than a bagger. My factory Vstrom bags are 45left+37right+42top = 124l. A Goldwing is 30+30+50 for 110l.
 

Baggsy

Well-known member
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Get a WeeStrom
 

nakkers

Well-known member
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Yamaha Royal Venture or Kawi Vulcan Voyager. Both are full touring with top box. Suzuki C90T does come with an optional top box as well.

I prefer the cowl of the Kawi.

Have not ridden any of them.




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J_F

gringo diablo
Site Supporter

Allistonfjr

Well-known member
FJR with highway pegs. Love mine and an asset on longer rides as my legs cramp up being under.
 

Baggsy

Well-known member
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Check what the GVWR is beforehand. Some of the low numbers will surprise you.
 

Wingboy

Well-known member
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Yamaha Royal Venture or Kawi Vulcan Voyager. Both are full touring with top box. Suzuki C90T does come with an optional top box as well.

I prefer the cowl of the Kawi.

Have not ridden any of them.




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+1 for the kawi.
 

J_F

gringo diablo
Site Supporter
  • I like the Victory touring models and the fact they're discontinued don't really bother me, but I'm amazed at how much they're holding their value. In short, outside my price goal territory
yes, it is unusual
I was looking at the Cross Country a few years ago
nice bike that got great reviews and has a solid rep for reliability

looks like they have actually gone UP in value
3 years ago you could get a nicely equipped Tour Cross Country
a few years old and under 20km for ~ 10K

same bike now 3 years older and 40-50 km and they're asking 15
 

kruzuki

Well-known member
I have to say, I was never a fan of the HD Tour Glides but after borrowing a friend's and spending some time cruising out on the open road, I get it! They are popular for a reason. I'd never get one for the city, too big, but on the highway with or without the stereo playing.......comfy.
 

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