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Super Duper Mod Man
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Forget the modifications. Just go to the gym. That always solved everything here. On a serious note, start with a bike that fits pretty close at the start. The modifications will only help some with comfort. Otherwise look at getting a naked with a flat bar like a Tuono or FZ-1. Good luck.
 

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Any bike is a compromise. The real question is what works best for you. I ride a stock Daytona 955 for commuting, touring and fun - for me it is the most comfortable bike I've ever owned. I figured I'd replace the seat immediately but it works for me. If you think you will like a modification you probably will but I have found that generally modifications lead to other compromises that often diminish the overall riding experience. Bar risers can impede the turning radius by hitting the tank or require the fairing be cut for clearance. Rear sets and risers change your leg and arm position but but do not necessarily improve comfort especially on an all day ride. Rear sets may also require repositioning the rear brake fluid reservoir which may require a longer or shorter brake line. Seating is too personal an experience for anyone to take judgement on or give advice.



On the other hand you should give it a try if your interested. I went through the modification stage and eventually developed the philosophy to accept the bike for what it is but I'm old now and that changes ones perspective.
 

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Modify! I owned a Concours for years, which is supposed to be a comfortable bike. Then I bought a newer Connie to which someone had added peg extenders, bar risers and cruise control. I had no idea how much MORE comfort I could have been enjoying, especially on the long haul. I'd go bar risers first, if you have to choose. On a sportbike they eliminate that "monkey f***ing a football" position.
 

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My '04 Triumph 955i has all of the above. I started off with adding 1/2" of memory foam to the seat(easy install) then cycle-cat risers, they are a bit more expensive than Heli or Genmar but twice the quality imho.

Next comes the tricky part, buy a set of buell lightning pegs, $34/pair, they have a 3/4" drop from the mounting point. You may need to drill, grind or sand a little here or there on the peg to get everything to line up. The pegs can be switched over in 3-4 minutes and are perfect if you know it's going to be a long day in the saddle.



Good luck
 

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I'd take a look at the Triumph Daytona 955i. Solid sportbike performance and much better egos to start with than any of the other "new" ones (I think of it as a new ZX-9R, another not bad starting point). That triple, up near redline under load... best sounding streetbike engine?



Stock sportbikes can be relatively comfortable to travel on, as long as you can keep the speed up over 90...
 

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Go the gym...
 

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I did exactly that to a 2001 R1: Heli bars (not risers, just different angle) and adjustable rearsets (don't remember brand) which pivot down and back. Changed the riding position to more vertical and gave more room for the legs. As a bonus, the Heli bars are a little longer than stock, so provide more leverage, bike doesn't want to run wide in corners; they also make wrist/angle position more natural in full turn, with OEM bars find I end up steering with outside bar when deep in turn.



On downside, the Heli bars are more flimsy than OEM (as someone remarked), so removed them this year since they amplify vibration more.



Also have Corbin saddle, which is most comfortable saddle I've owned, including a prior gel saddle; seems to work best with revised position.



The R1 was a great fit to start with, with the bars and pegs it's the most comfortable bike I've ridden (including K75, Electraglide, Softail Springer, original Hurricane 1000, SV650, Suzuki GS1100G with Vetter fairing): rode 3500 miles through 8 states over 10 day Christmas vacation a couple of years ago.



Re. someone else's comment on SV650, it's great around town, but too buzzy and too cramped for 6 footer for more than an hour's highway riding.
 

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I have a '86 GSXR750 that I've slightly modified for commuting touring. I have some Tomaselli adjustable clip-ons that I have raised about 1". I also installed a different nose fairing that tips the windscreen up higher - but this was a mistake. The screen is now high enough that the turbulence off the windscreen hits me around the bottom of my helmet. Makes it very noisy. I'm going to switch back to the lower one that leaves my head in smooth air.



The other mods: I welded a loop onto the passenger grab bar and mounted a tail-trunk big enough for two helmets on it. I mounted rear view mirrors from a Katana that are long enough to show something besides my elbow. I welded some pieces onto the passenger pegs to lower them and inch. I cut the cavity out of the gas tank that held the air cleaner and soldered a closure over it to gain almost a gallon extra. This required change to individual K&N air filters.



I haven't done any real tours, but I've ridden it to Laguna Seca about six times (305mi one way) and I commute (12mi one way) most days. I've put over 100,000mi on it. The mods help, but I only consider the tail-trunk essential. I've also ridden my Aprilia RS250 to Laguna several times with no mods (except a tail trunk).
 

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Re: How About the Obvious?

Absofreakinlutely! I own an older VFR and love it to death. Triumphs ST is a dandy too, though I've heard they have heat management problems. Ducati ST3 and ST4s are also aimed at wide spectrum riding, and all of these bikes can have their bars raised up a bit if need be. Currently, the ST3 make make the most sense, if the pricey valve adjustments don't scare you off. (VFR valve adjustments are not exactly cheap either, but happen only every 16k.)
 

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I had a '00 ZX9R with heated grips for the cold months, brighter headlights for night riding, radar detector for the long hauls which were repeated several times a week, soft luggage for the essentials, and that's about it. I liked the stock seat and bar position. I would have liked more legroom, but didn't find anyone who made peg lowering kits until I lost the bike to an errant Saturn operator.



I also installed taller final drive for better economy when I was commuting long distances (200 miles each way 2x/week) for about two years. Didn't make as much difference as I hoped, but I did gain a MPG or two and the speedometer was remarkably accurate.
 

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I had a '00 ZX9R with heated grips for the cold months, brighter headlights for night riding, radar detector for the long hauls which were repeated several times a week, soft luggage for the essentials, and that's about it. I liked the stock seat and bar position. I would have liked more legroom, but didn't find anyone who made peg lowering kits until I lost the bike to an errant Saturn operator.



I also installed taller final drive for better economy when I was commuting long distances (200 miles each way 2x/week) for about two years. Didn't make as much difference as I hoped, but I did gain a MPG or two and the speedometer was remarkably accurate.
 

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I had a '00 ZX9R with heated grips for the cold months, brighter headlights for night riding, radar detector for the long hauls which were repeated several times a week, soft luggage for the essentials, and that's about it. I liked the stock seat and bar position. I would have liked more legroom, but didn't find anyone who made peg lowering kits until I lost the bike to an errant Saturn operator.



I also installed taller final drive for better economy when I was commuting long distances (200 miles each way 2x/week) for about two years. Didn't make as much difference as I hoped, but I did gain a MPG or two and the speedometer was remarkably accurate.
 

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I'd stay away from the total crotchies... great bikes, but a lot of work to make something less focused and more comfy. Pick up an old VFR or Blackbird and you'll need to do little. An SV-1000, ZRX, Z750S or most standards will fit ergo-wise, but you may want better wind protection for touring. Don't count out the DPs either (V-Strom, GS, Tiger, etc.) if you don't mind the height.



That said, I prefer not to play with the stock geometry much, so long as the base seat is decent and I have room to move around for the long haul, that's usually all that's needed. My old '99 ZX-9R was wonderfully comfy with a custom Corbin saddle -- I didn't need to do bar risers or rearsets, because I have ape arms, so I find I can sit upright on most sportbikes. If you live in cold climes heated grips will make you cry with joy.
 
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