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My approach is to buy what I think will be fun to ride and them modify it as necessary for commuting. For the seven years I've commuted on a GSXR-750. I put on some adjustable bars and raised them as far as possible without cutting the fairing (about 1" above stock); I welded up a bracket that bolts in place of the passenger grap handle and mounted a tail trunk (from J.C. Whitney); I mounted mirrors from a Katana (so I can see something beside my elbows). It's an 'interesting' commuter and I've ridden it on some 400mile trips. Now I commute on an Aprilia RS250 - also with tail trunk.
 

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Price range is critical here, so I will suggest some bikes. Obviously the SV650 is everywhere, so i will leave it off the list.



Ducati Monster, any size.

Honda SuperHawk

Suzuki SV1000s

BMW R1200



Best choice for an all around street bike - Honda VFR



Vlad
 

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Sounds like you want power and handling as a priority but your ready for some size and comfort.

Sounds like your ready for a FJR1300. You will not need any softbags. Better comfort and you will not be lacking performance.
 

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Capo Nord

The Giant Trailies have decent wind protection, lots of power, high bars, comfort, good handling. They don't have the outright power of the supersports, but street handling is very good.

Not only that, the Capo Nord is CHEAP, Scuderia in SF has one sitting on the floor, a new 2002 model, for $8k + tax & nuisance fees. You can even get hard bags if you want.
 

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Guys, lots of good suggestions...but he pretty much says that he wants a european bike. In which case I say the Falco would be a good bike to look at. I almost bought one recently myself, but got such a good deal on a SuperHawk that I couldn't pass it up. Now might even be the time for a sport-tourer, in which case the Futura is really nice. The Ducati Multistrada wa also a good idea, though the syling is polarizing to say the least. However, it looks to be somewhat lacking in wind protection.



Frankly, the Triumphs just don't do it for me. The last generation Daytona was pretty nice looking but the new one definitely is not (IMHO of course). They need some styling help across their sportbike range.



I'm sure you'll find something that does it for you.
 

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Re:Euro-tourer

How about a Sprint ST ? hard bags and top trunk are available and windshield and bars can modified to suit any style.

Or if you just want a change an ST4, or ST2 if you can find one would be fun.

I've got an '02 Trophy that I'm very happy with. My riding is similar to yours IE; mostly commuting @ 80~90 for an hour each way, with as much daily dinking around as I can squeeze in.

The Trophy is perfect for that.
 

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Welllllllll......


I would have to also point to the big trailies.

Suzuki V-Strom, Ducati Multistrada and such. Comfortable bikes with good power, lots of ground clearance in the corners, a general do it all kind of motorcycle.


That is unless you pick up a Suzuki SV1kS. (hint, hint)

 

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...or Cagiva Gran Canyon -- same designer, different interpretation of the concept. The Gran Canyon is more comfortable and a better mount for when the pavement gets "dicey".



If I had to cut down on just one bike in my garage, it would be the Cagiva. I've gone from humbling sport bikes on the back roads in the morning to picking up groceries in the afternoon. It's a machine with the desmo exhaust note, ride all day comfort, and great handling regardless what the road throws at you.

 

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My '98 Daytona 955i has bar risers and is comfy enough for commuting. The main neg is its tendency to run hot in stop n go traffic, which is not much fun. Not an issue with you Calif lane splitters! I think the 2003 Daytona's plastic isn't nearly as sexy as 955 line (esp with underseat exhaust). C'mon Triumph, get it together!

I.Thomas

Portland OR
 

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I'm a huge fan of Ducati's ST line. Locking hardbags beat softbags any day plus you can remove the bags and raise the pipes if you want to go out peg scratching.



Just add Helibars and a Sargeant seat and you'll see several 600 plus mile days as I have.



I've got 18,000 miles on my ST4 and it has been totally reliable.
 

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The multistrada can be fitted with two different higher screens straight from the factory ... I'm tempted to get one myself - it seems just the thing to replace my F650GS.
 

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Well, if you're looking for something interesting just go for the Benelli Toronado. Get a big backpack to carry your gear.



Maybe the MV Agusta Brutale. Add a windshield. At least you won't see yourself on every corner.
 

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"nuisance fees"? WTF?

Do you think Aprilia ships bikes to their dealers for free? Or that Scuderia's mechanics do vehicle set-ups for free?

Also, Aprilia has the crummiest (for the dealer)dealer mark-up of all the OEM's. They are probably losing money on that Capo Nord.

Maybe you should work for free, too!
 

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I rode a 1998 VFR800 for 30,000+ miles, mostly on SF bay area freeways. A new VFR would serve you well, but they're underpowered compared to your RS and not exotic.



I have to second the vote above for a giant trailie. Being up high makes lanesplitting a (relative) breeze, and the wind protection will support superslab riding with no problems. That leaves you with Suzuki VStrom, Aprilia CapoNord, BMW R1150GS, or Triumph Tiger.



Think twice about reliability and shop support, however. I had a BMW R1100S for 7 months and I had to give up on it as a daily commuter. It went into the shop 6 times for some serious warrantee work (oil leaks, bad gaskets, etc.). I felt pretty let down by the whole "BMW reliability" thing, and the local shop had long wait times before they could look at the bike when it had problems.
 

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I gotta agree w/ the folks suggesting the Multistrada. What an interesting machine! You certainly won't see it round every corner, and I'll bet it'll rail much better then the other "trailies", if you can call the MS that...
 
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