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If you want to stay under 500 lbs the Guzzi 1100 is over that. Yes you should be able to get one for less than MSRP but not as much as in the past because of the new models. I have a Breva 750, 2004 model with 18,000 miles. No problems and it is much more comfortable than my riding buddy's Honda 919. Slower but corners as well and I am not doing 100 mph trips or track days anyway. I test rode a Breva 1100 at Bike Week and liked it. It did not feel 525 pounds. I like my Goose and it has been trouble free for me. The motor is much less complicated than a BMW or Honda. I work on my own now that it is out of waranty. Unless you just want flash, speed or a different style Guzzis are great. Remember they are made for everyday riding. Not 1200 mile years like the other air cooled v-twin. Good luck
 

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I ride an old R100GS and I love it. I must admit, however that the Elefant is probably the coolest looking big trailie ever made.
 

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Actually, the lightning is in pretty good shape for its age. I did install a boyer ignition, which helps a lot, but the carbs need cleaning and adjusting (might install mikuni's) and a new clutch wouldn't hurt. It sumps REALLY bad, which could be from a leaky oil pump. I love the bike and will probably keep it no matter what I get, but it's a perpetual work in progress and I picture it exploding one day. And your right, the bike has a lot of charisma. Wherever I go people ask about the it at stoplights, parking lots, etc... I just need something a little more practical.
 

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My 75 t-3 was cool. Concours more than functional, my sv1000s keeps my attention! I think a Triumph sprint might make me forget my tt120... Yeah that's it. Try the triple..
 

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VFR, if you're going to get the V-Tech, get the latest one with the retune. Otherwise, go a generation earlier. Great bikes.
 

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Sure, an Aprilia Futura. IMO a sport tourer must first be comfortable, and the Fut is very much so. Read the MO review, they love the bike. Rock solid reliable. Plus you can get a new or a nearly new one for a relatively low price.
 

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i can comment on my guzzi for you...

she is an '03 california 1100 cc

i once thought that i have had alot of quirky issues with her but then I realized that I was the one being quirky! I was comparing her to all the other metric bikes i've owned and that is NOT what she is.

She is like that beautiful woman who comes along and makes you question everything you thought you knew about women.

So does she have character? Yes

Would I say the character issues are problems? No

Would I replace her with something more predictable? Hell NO!

I don't what my life to be predictable why would I want my passion to be?
 

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I have a couple of good recommendations for you, based on my last few bikes. I had a 1999 SV 650 which I absolutely loved. It had tons of character (for a Japanese bike), good power, good handling, and it looked cool (much better looking than the newer ones, in my opinion). The drawback to the SV was just that it was too low geared and small for real highway work. It was buzzy over 80mph, and I wanted something a little bigger. I got a VTR1000 Superhawk, which I really liked a lot-- you can get 'em cheap, they sound GREAT (with loud pipes), handle pretty well, and look cool. Unfortunately, they have a tiny gas tank. Touring was a real pain because you can't count on getting more than 100 miles out of a tank. I sold it just for that reason-- I like to explore in places where you can't count on a gas station on every corner. My next bike was a 2000 VFR 800 Interceptor. I put louder pipes on it, but it still lacked character. In my opinion, Interceptors have all the personality of a blender. And they are WAY too heavy for an 800cc bike, but they carry it well and handle nice. I sold that one because I was buying a house. Next bike was a Kawasaki ZRX 1100. I loved that bike-- absolutely one of my favorite bikes of all time. Sounds cool, looks cool, handles pretty good, reasonably fast, and my feet can touch the ground. If you like an upright position and don't care about a fairing, I'd recommend the ZRX (and you can get one cheap). Unfortunately, they don't make them any more, but there are a lot out there. I started doing more long-distance riding and touring, so I really wanted something with a fairing, so I got an '03 Aprilia Falco. Best bike I've ever owned. Faster than any of the other ones, V-twin personality, handles as well as just about any bike out there, looks cool, and they're unusual, so they get a lot of looks and you don't see one on every corner. It's not the greatest "town bike" because of the relatively low bars and stretched-out riding position. I ordered some heli-bars-- we'll see if that helps. Hope my litany of bikes gives you a little bit of any idea of what you might want. Happy hunting!
 

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Buy a used F4i. Forget the italian bikes if you're going to put a ton of miles on the thing. I don't want anyone to misunderstand me. I'm sure an italian bike can go the miles with maintanence.... yada, yada, yada. They do take more maintenance than the jap bikes and besides they're too pretty to be ridden on a daily basis.
 

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If all you want is a good town bike to do some light touring on, I'd recommend used FZ-1's, SV650's, and Honda 919's: buy a flyscreen for them and a set of soft bags and you're good to go. Low insurance costs, decent mileage, upright seating for good vision in town, these would be hard to beat. However, you mentioned you like "Character", and further said that the BMW flat twin isn't quirky enough for you. Taking this into account,I'd say buy the MotoGuzzi that tickles your fancy. The Trumpets are not a family of low ride bikes no matter what you pick, and I find the Ducatis to not be the best town bikes (I'm not fond of the dry clutch in traffic, and I hate doing 4600 mile valve checks and belt replacements at 10K [granted, that is mostly on the older bikes like my wife's 900SS, but the newer ones aren't exactly cheap to spin a wrench on even if you do your own maintenance]).

To sum up, buy the one you love-after all, if you were looking for practical useability you wouldn't be shopping bikes at all.

Bryan...my pick for a second bike? I'd park a KTM 950 Adventure in my garage...
 

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Eric, if you are perhaps lumping Buells in with Harleys, that is understandable... but believe me, one ride on a Buell Lightning and you will understand, this ain't your Uncle's sportster!



I've put a Cee Bailey flyscreen on mine, and soft luggage, and it is a dandy town bike and light tourer. Riding positiion is neutral, seat is comfy, and the bike is neither too tall nor too heavy. Tons of character, just tons. Incredible, stupid cornering talent. I put on a set of Qualifiers. Wow.



Smallish tank, but 60 mpg highway compensates somewhat. (The new longer wheelbase Buells hold more fuel.) The electronics is beyond the reach of most home mechanics (like all modern bikes) but the fuel injection makes that old V-twin run spot-on all the time. Otherwise, I am told that Buell parts are not dear and the rest of the bike looks easy to maintain. The belt final drive is particularly friendly... clean, durable and never needs adjustment.



OK, ok, so you don't want a Buell. You know what else would make a killer sport-tour? One o'them new ZX-14 Kawis. Oh, just another boring, no-character Jap four you say? Ha ha... boring... dear God. Gimme some soft bags and a set of maps and STAND BACK. Heh.
 

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Absolutely loving my Moto Guzzi Breva 1100. Am turning it into a tourer by adding a windshield and bags. If I'd know about the Norge coming out, I might have waited, but I'm still really happy. Don't miss test riding one if possible.
 

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They offered test rides a while back...

...I took one. Tiny, little bike, lumpy at idle, wants to stand up and run off the road if you corner on the brakes: turns on a dime otherwise. Given the cost, I'd buy an SV650 first and put some money into the suspension (then spend a week in Edinburgh on the leftover money). Still, if the Buell plucks your heartstrings, buy one: life is too short, right?

Bryan...don't ask me about the buffoon who *tried* to lead the test ride: we left him...
 

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One more thing...

...the clutch pull is just ridiculous! I had to clamp on like a cartoon lobster to get the clutch to go: what's so tough about a hydraulic clutch on a streetbike?

Bryan...liked the Lightening better than the Firebolt...
 

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Thanks for all the advice. Definitely given me a couple of ideas if not exactly narrowed down my choices. The Triumph Sprint ST and the Aprillia Falco I'll definitely take another look at. I loved the triple on the Tiger, but I'm not sure I like all the plastic on the Sprint. The FZ-1, VFR, ZRX, and the Buell are all interesting and I might consider if I fall in love with it or get desperate. The Buell insurance is too high though; about twice that of a Guzzi or BMW and even more than a monster. I'm still worried about Ducati maintenance. I'll wait until the new Guzzi's come out in late May before I decide on what bike to get and whether to go new or used. Its kind of spooky how nobody seemed too interested in the BMWs... Anyway, thanks again.
 

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Sorry to come late to the party, but here's my 0.02. If you really like your Beezer and want a bike with character then you don't want anything with four cylinders. Period. Beemers are good, but if your head says buy an 1150R then go back a step and look for an 1100R which is just as good, in some ways better, and just that bit more of a 'real' motorcycle. The more modern you get, the more you lose 'character'. Guzzis are good, too, but if you want to go touring or do any two-up work on a V11 then try before you buy because the v11 sportbikes, though full of character, are very definitely cafe-racer crouch and your wrists might not like them. I rode a Breva 1100 last week, wondering if it might be a replacement for my own R1100R Beemer, and it's good, but not so much better that I'd trade the one for the other and spend several thousand doing so. I also rode a V11 LeMans last week, and IMHO it is the last Real Motorcycle still being made. Easy controls ( no he-man clutch or tractor gearboxes any more!) and flawless fuel injection mapping make it easy to pootle around town on, but when you give it a handful the sound and the sensation leave you in no doubt: this is Real, like old British Twins used to be. I'm still seriously thinking about selling all my other bikes and buying the LeMans. If there's one near you, and it's from 2002 or later, at least give it a go.
 

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If you're considering a Falco, you might drop in on AF-1's Aprilia forum (http://www.apriliaforum.com/forums/) Look for the Falco forum. The Futura is also a nice bike, with a more humane riding position and touring capabilities. The styling is kind of love-it-or-hate-it. I used to think they were hideous, but they have really grown on me.

Good luck!
 
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