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What about the V-Strom?

V-STROM!!!

It's more than your budget (new), but it wouldn't be as dramatic a change as going from V-Star to YZF.

It will have the range for your 200 mile trips, you can put anything on it with the factory cases. It would be perfect for camping trips. You can probably find a year old one for $7000.00 V-Twin, 6-speed tranny, 5.8 gallon tank...you can't beat it!

(I don't own one, BTW, I ride a GL1800)
 

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You need to look at something like an SV 650. All those 600s are wonderful bikes, and the less extreme ones can certainly be ridden on a daily basis, but the whole idea of the SV is to make living with it as easy as possible.

You need to ask yourself if you just want to look sporty, and are willing to put up with a less comfortable riding position to get that look, or if you want something that meets your needs, but doesn't look all that "radical"
 

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The 600's you're considering have a top speed around 150 mph, so don't worry about highway cruising.



And your 750 Magna would kick butt on your 1100 V-Star, so obviously engine size isn't everything.



But I don't know how happy you'd be with sportbike ergos after a career with cruisers.



Have you ridden a newer Magna? They've got 10 more hp than your '85, a top speed of 130, and they cruise very smoothly at 75.



If you really want more of a sportbike, and at that price, then consider a new SV650, like the previous poster suggested. But buy the 'naked' version, not the faired SVS650, which is less comfortable.



The SV650 is a great bike, 70 hp and 120 top speed, and perfect for everything you want to do. It gets rave reviews and is widely consider a 'best bang for the buck' kind of bike. You can't go wrong with one.
 

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I did the same thing. Went from an '86 700 Honda Shadow to a '00 996 SuperHawk. I wanted a sport bike. It's easy to ride, the twin makes power smoothly everywhere and reminds me of my cruiser.

It sounds like you would be happier with a sport-touring bike. They can exceed $7,000 quite easily though.

In answer to your question about the 600 they move quite well. They are light and generally handle well too. If you are planning on riding with a passenger a 600 MAY not have enough grunt or could be more than the recommended load for the bike. For example, my girlfriend and I weigh more together than the max recommended load for my bike.

Since you're not interested in racing you probably won't care about the top-end of a 600 either. Both the bikes you list should be quite capable.

You might try searching the groups on Google to get some impressions from owners of the bikes you're looking at: http://www.google.com/grphp?hl=en&tab=wg&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=
 

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Buy a "Super-Standard" that's two years old. It will be comfortable, dirt cheap, haul you, your girlfriend, and your luggage, faster than you want to go. Handle pretty damn good, and will cruise the freeways at 70 easily. A Kwaka ZRX1100/1200, Kwaka Z1000, Suzuki Bandit 1200, or Yamaha FZ1 all fit the bill perfectly. You want to do it all and these bike are all from the old "Do it All" school. Your couldn't ask for more.



My personal recommendation, a 4 year old ZRX 1100, with Cams, Carbs, and Steering damper + maybe a nice set of sport tires.



Shouldn't run you more than $5500 totally dialed in.
 

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SV650S.

I'm 6'3, 190 lbs. and the ergos are 200 mile comfy.



I get around 50mpg.(better when cruising w/o stopping) It has a 4.2 gallon tank.

Do the math(200 miles to a tank easily).



My 2001 has zero vibration at highway speeds

(70mph)



It's about 6 1/2 grand brand new. Don't buy a new one. They last forever.



Yep, you can strap plenty of stuff on it.



It's easy to ride, nice clutch, fat powerband, smooth controls, great brakes.



A kawasaki ZR-7S would fit your bill too, but it would vibrate more than the SVS.



NOTE: If you get an SV, you'll want to get an "S" model, for the fairing. It makes highway cruising WAY more enjoyable.
 

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Well Count, here's my .02 worth...



Any of the modern 4 cylinder 600's will provide a lot more power than the motor on any of the bikes you have owned. In fact, they both make close to double the power that you are used too, on a bike that is over a hundred pounds lighter. So you don't have anything to worry about in the "horsepower war".



Several of the folks that have already posted have suggested the SV65, and while it is a great bike, you may find one of the current fully faired sportbikes a better choice for your 200 mile trips, especially if they involve a long highway drone





The bikes you listed are all good choices, but I would also recommend the Honda CBR 600F4. The CBR's tend to be very smooth at freeway speed and make excellent all-around low maintenance transportation. And you should be able to pick up this, or any other 2 year old 600, for under $5000.





As several people have pointed out, any of these bikes will have no problems with freeway speeds of 70mph. In fact, all of them will cruise comfortably well in excess of 80. So, get yourself a nice 600cc sportbike, buy a magnetic tank back and a set of soft saddle bags, and get ready to have a lot of fun.
 

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before buying a ZR-7, compare it to the suzuki GSX 750 naked.. comfortable riding position, even with my 1.96m.

it would also fit in your 7000$ budget, in

original price of course :) .

it has a nice bang for the buck, and much more lively compared to the ZR-7.
 

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As you say, you come from a cruiser background. What you are used to is the feel of big pistons turning at relatively low revs. A 600 four-cylinder will feel like a hairdryer, despite developing twice the power you are used to and clocking more than twice the speed you say you want. Buy a modern standard with big pistons, therefore, and it will give you what you want without feeling tiny. Try a BMW R850/1100/1150R: big pistons, no vibes, comfy ergos, huge luggage space. You should find a dealer-serviced three or four-year old one within your price range and it will do at least another hundred thousand miles with you. How far did you want to go?
 

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Do yourself a favor and get a Kawasaki ZRX 1200. Last bike you will need.



If you shop the internet, you can find brand new ZRX 1200's that will fit your budget. The MSRP is $7689, and some dealers are willing to discount.



You will have enough torque for any situation, enough power to do anything you want to, the seating is fully upright, bags are available and the bike is great to ride.



I own both a cruiser and the ZRX. I find that I tend to ride the ZRX more than the cruiser it is so much fun.



Hope this helps.



Prairie Dog
 

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Take a look at the Triumph Speed Four. I love mine. No vibes at highway speed, and nice suspension and brakes, right from the TT600. It's very comfortable to me ( 5'11" 200lbs). The fuel injection is flawless (and believe me, I know bad injection. I had a 2000 TT600!). Bike retails for about $7700+/-, and it comes with a two year/unlimited mileage warrenty. You should be able to get a deal on one. My friend, who has a Triumph dealership has 2 on the floor now. Shouldn't pay more than about $7000 for a new one.
 

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I can't give you any real life help, as I am in the same boat as you (a Shadow 600 and Shadow Sabre 1100 right now, but the wife won't let me buy another bike).



When I looked into the matter over the last few months, responses overwhelmingly favored the SV650. Looking at the 2003, you get a bike with a good range (4.7 gal tank), good brakes, handles well, makes more power than our 1100s while being 200-300 lbs lighter, and comes in for a bit under 6 grand new. It is also not a full on sport bike, so it looks like it has more realistic ergos for a former cruiser rider.



In my mind, the 650 is more of a doitall bike with sport appeal, while the Yamaha and Kawasaki you mentioned are closer to true sportbikes.



Again, I have no sportbike experience, just relaying the info I gathered while looking at the same questions you are now. Let us know what you find out. Maybe I can still convince the woman to let me get a sportbike and keep the Sabre!



Jeremy
 

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Used VFR 800

Only because the BMW R1100S and the Aprilia Falco cost more. There is no such thing as a better bike than my Beemer, but the VFR 800 is about as close as japan can come. The Aprilia is just plain cool. Hard bags for the VFR and the BMW are wonderful. Trust me, Been camping and fit two peoples stuff on the S.
 

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750 Nighthawk no doubt. Waaaaay under $7,000, comfortable, smooth, maintenance is an option, will last longer than most marriages. With the cash saved over some of the others, you can buy bags, removable windshield, and fill the tank about 300 times.
 

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First, before you buy you need to know it will probably take the entire break-in period for you to feel comfortable on a sport bike. You will, but you will need to adjust to the change in ergos, power, torque etc. You simply have to adjust to the change of bikes.



That being said, the YZF600R is a great choice. It has power, can cruise all day at whatever speed you want, has hooks for luggaage and is probably the best sport tourer in the 600 class. It is also great for the occasional track day should you ever decide to explore that territory. Read the test on this site, which you probably already have. It raves about the bike!



If you want, you can change the ergos with a set of Heli-bars or Gen Mar Risers, get a double bubble screen for even more wind protection and you are ready to go.



Right now my local dealer has one for about $6500. I am seriously thinking about buying it, realizing that it is different than my current ride, but very versatile. Go for the Yamaha!
 

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Have to completely agree here. Any of the 1000cc standards are going to be far more preferrable to you than a wind it to the moon 600. They are more than sporty enough for the majority of riders out there and will be 20 times more sporty than anything you have had so far. These bikes will do all your criteria far easier and more comfortably than any 600 or 650 twin. They are abundant and relatively inexpensive.
 

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I have to agree. I drove some of the highier rpm Japanese bikes and found myself short-shifting them. I know that's my fault not the bike's fault. But I'm way more comfortable on a twin for street use. If you find a well maintained used BMW you will a buy a bike that'll usually last 200,000 miles. That is if you do your part it will. If you're willing to spend $7K you should have no problem finding a used one to fit the bill.



Take care,

Dave
 

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You must further refine your criteria...

There have been lots of good suggestions made already. Keep in mind that bikes these days are in general very well made and you can't really go wrong with whatever you eventually choose. However, as evidenced by all of the makes/models that have already been suggested, you may want to further refine your critieria in order to thin your potential herd. For example:

"Comfortable riding position" is subjective and obviously connected to your physical size. Some guys consider a Duc 998 "comfortable", so much of that is totally up to you.

You said that 600cc seems like a tiny motorcycle...did you mean strictly from a displacement standpoint (focusing on your need for decent highway cruising power), or are you concerned about the actual size of the bike? Based on the two models that you suggested in your post, maybe the issue is more about power. If this is the case, any of the bikes that have been suggested will give you at least equal (and in most cases MORE) power than you have currently and more than you will most likely use, given your comments on speed in general. You may not be a high speed ripper, but what about bombing around sub-60mph? Twin power (more linear torque) that some could argue is more useable around town, versus a more "hot blooded" inline 4 that likes you to twist it's nuts off? TOTALLY different power characteristics, so you should think about that. This may give you some opinions about what is "easier to ride".

Coming from a cruiser, do you want to have an upright riding position or are you willing to lean forward a little? Traditional handlebars or clip ons? You mentioned that your cruiser has no fuel guage. Does that mean that your new bike must have one? Very few "sport bikes" do.

Do you want brand new? If yes, $7000 may be your biggest limiting factor. Does that include tax, etc? Your budget is your budget, and that's fine. Very few of us can shoot whatever load we want on our bikes. However, if you want new and the 7K is "firm" out the door, then some of the suggestions above won't fly. Are you willing to buy used? If yes, how used? That will open many more doors.

You mentioned "sport bikes" because you wanted something more "modern" with presumably more instrumentation? Any other reasons relating to performance (besides highway cruising)? How important is bike weight? Coming from a cruiser, maybe not that much. What about handling and brakes? Although you may not want to be a speed demon, do you want to further explore the handling/leaning characteristics possible with a more sport-oriented bike? Does that give you a fix? Or is your focus more on "commuting"? Are you willing to fill up once on your 200 mile trips? Ever ride 2 up or just with gear?

So, many of the questions above will help you to determine what you REALLY are looking for. You can then focus in on your potential choices, check them out at dealerships, maybe take test rides, etc.

For what it is worth, I'm 5'8" & 225lbs with only a little chub and ride a '99 SV 650 (no fairing stock, but tossed on an aftermarket Targa 1/4 fairing, which provides a sufficient "bubble"). I have added Suburban Machinery bars, which more closely resemble the clip on placement of the faired "S" model, and have taken 2000 mile tours with the bike. A tail trunk and expandable magnetic tankbag allowed me to stuff away about six days worth of gear, so I think if you pack light, basically ANY bike will carry your camping stuff. The bike turns at just under 5000 rpm at an indicated 70mph in top cog with zero vibration. It's twin will provide sufficient stomp, but is docile enough to keep you "sane" and will commute well. Many have been know to say that the bike is "easy to ride". In terms of ergonomics, you have two choices, faired with clip ons or unfaired with tubular handlebar. Countless aftermarket accessories are available to make it whatever you want it to be. It meets your 7K budget brand new.

Although the SV may meet some of your needs, there are countless other bikes available to you, and I usually fantasize about owning at least one new model daily. Whatever you ride, there is always something that your bike doesn't have that you covet in another. So figure out what will make you the most happy and go buy it.

Hope this yammering has helped you in some way.
 

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Just a thought. Have you considered a Buell?



Distinctive motorcycle, great V-twin motor with tons of torque similar to what you've already owned only in a solid sportbike chasis with good brakes, comfy ergos and geared towards a street rider. Plus, there's the added benefit of not seeing yourself every 5 seconds like you would on a lot of the race replicas-which may appeal to your "cruiser"side.



You can pick up 1 or 2 year old used models for 7 all day long. You may even find 1 or 2 year old models sitting on the showroom floor for that much. I did.



Just head to a dealer and take a test ride and you'll know if it's right for you. They are not for everyone. Seems most people either love them or hate them. But most of the people who love them are the ones who have actually owned or ridden one. There's just something about them.
 
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