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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the process of buying a new motorcycle. My specs for myself were that I wanted it liquid cooled, EFI, Shaft drive with hard saddle bags or saddle bags that can hold my brief case and books. I almost got one last year in the Kawasaki 1600 Nomad, but decided to wait for the 2009. When the 2009 came out, it was in belt drive not shaft. Now I don't know what I want. There are some Yamahas with shaft drive, but they have carburetors, not EFI. My question is. Which is more important, EFI or Shaft drive for comfort and long distance riding as well as in city. The only motorcycle that has everything I want is the Honda goldwing, and that is out of my price range.
Thank you for helping.
 

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Belt-drive is probably more "maintenance-free" than a shaftie. Plus, it doesn't have the "shaft jacking" characteristic when you apply and let off the power.

You'll really not even notice a belt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thank you for replying Airhawk.

I guess I have a misconception that the belt is going to bust when I am traveling. I had a 1982 Goldwing 1100 and I never had a problem with the shaft drive.
Are you saying that I should consider buying a motorcycle that has EFI rather than a shaft?
I guess what I am trying to say is: Should I consider buying lets say, an Kawaski Nomad with belt drive and EFI, rather than a Yamaha Royal Start tour deluxe with shaft drive and carbs.
 

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Thank you for replying Airhawk.

I guess I have a misconception that the belt is going to bust when I am traveling. I had a 1982 Goldwing 1100 and I never had a problem with the shaft drive.
Are you saying that I should consider buying a motorcycle that has EFI rather than a shaft?
I guess what I am trying to say is: Should I consider buying lets say, an Kawaski Nomad with belt drive and EFI, rather than a Yamaha Royal Start tour deluxe with shaft drive and carbs.
My opinion is that unless you do most of your riding up and down mountains there's no big deal about EFI. Modern carbs work great. Belts, as Hawk noted, are terrific; they usually outlast the rest of the bike. Forget about these details, go find the bike that gives you a boner.
 

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For cruisers, belt-drive bikes are easier to customize than shaft-drive bikes (that is important to a lot of cruiser owners, apparently :)

Personally, I prefer EFI over carburetors; EFI is supposed to give better fueling and thus better fuel economy. But I have to say that the Ninja 250 I once owned had a smooth reliable motor, and it was carbureted. The two bikes I currently own are both fuel injected.

Whichever bike you get, just make sure to use a fuel stabilizer if you let it sit for any length of time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for replying trenttheuncatcable.
I am looking for maybe a cruiser/tourer like the Kawasaki Nomad with EFI and belt drive or the Yamaha Royal Star tour deluxe that has carbs but is shaft driven, or maybe just a touring bike like the new Kawasaki Voyager that has EFI but is belt driven. I could see myself in any of these bikes. I do like to go out of town a lot and up to the mountains where it is nice and fresh. But also have to carry my brief case and books when I go to work everyday. I ride everyday. What is your take on this?
 

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Bigrnm,

The EFI will do one thing for you that you'll notice. It'll start much easier when it's cold (the engine, that is.)

Sure, maybe you'll get a bit better fuel economy, but unless you live in the Rockies, you'll not notice the difference in the ol' fuel/air mixer.

Shaft drive is a lot of technology applied to a simple problem. It is complex, weighs a good bit, and WYSIWYG. No changing its looks or performance.

Belt drive is fairly mainstream now, and is proven technology. It weighs quite a bit less than the other options, and as noted above, can last for ages. You can change 'gearing' and put a custom pulley on the back, if that's your thing.

Chains are probably not even available on cruisers anymore. However, they are also very reliable, but they are heavier than a belt, and require maintenance. And, they need replacement (along with the sprockets) every 20K or so.

The more important consideration for you is whether you would ever haul a passenger, and how often. If you'd do it often, you are looking at a true 'cruiser' or 'touring' bike. If not, then you could look at the sport-tourers and standards.

Also, the bike'll have to fit you.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Pushrod,
I will be hauling a passenger when I go out of town and a trailer every once is a while. And I will be hauling the trailer up hill to the mountains. Most of my in city driving will be by myself.
As far as fitting, do you think they will let me test drive the bike before buying? I think kawasaki will, but not Yamaha here.
Thanks again.
 

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Well,

Hauling a passenger for any distance, and trailering especially mean you are looking for a largish rig. So cruisers are it. Or, maybe a nice convertible.

Dealerships vary, but in my experience there are not many that have 'Demo' bikes. Two of the few are Harley and Triumph. You may have different luck wherever it is you live.

Failing that, you might make an event that features Factory Demo's, like VMD at Mid-Ohio or another big 'rally'.

Tally-ho!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So do you think having an EFI would be better than carbs for the long distance with two up and hauling a trailer up hill? The belt drive should be able to handle all the weight, right?
 

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I think you need to focus more on the bike itself than whether it has a belt or EFI. If you plan on long distance touring pulling a trailer and a passenger then you're looking along the lines of a Goldwing or BMW. both with shafts or a Harley Ultra with a belt, or any of the Japanese bikes similarly set up. They all have EFI nowadays, they all work well and they can all handle any reasonable amount of weight over any reasonable road surface.

You need to find the bike that fit's your needs, belt or shaft, carb or EFI all have their advantages and disadvantages but they all work just fine as long as nobody tries to "improve" them
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
To answer SomeU's reply,
I need the trailer because sometimes I have to do the camping thing when riding with certain friends. When I go camping, yes I usually drive my truck, but not always. Sometimes it is nice to go camping and ride wherever you want to go.

I can't afford a goldwing or BMW. They are way out of my price range. I used to have a 1982 Goldwing and it ran perfectly until I go water in my engine through the spark plugs. That's why I was thinking about the Nomad or the Royal Star tour deluxe.
Thanks guys.
 

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To answer SomeU's reply,
I need the trailer because sometimes I have to do the camping thing when riding with certain friends. When I go camping, yes I usually drive my truck, but not always. Sometimes it is nice to go camping and ride wherever you want to go.

I can't afford a goldwing or BMW. They are way out of my price range. I used to have a 1982 Goldwing and it ran perfectly until I go water in my engine through the spark plugs. That's why I was thinking about the Nomad or the Royal Star tour deluxe.
Thanks guys.
How did water get in through spark plugs?

I suppose when you go camping you have to take the wife too eh? It sucks that you have to haul all that stuff.
 

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A friend has a bike trailer that folds out into a tent trailer about big enough for anyone except longride to sleep in. It's pretty slick and would be really cozy for two people... like me and Jessica Jane Clement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Yeah SmokeU,
it does suck. That's why I need something that is comfortable and at the same time be dependable.
I've seen those trailers with the built in tents. Those are really nice. Maybe after the trailer I have now falls apart, I can get one of those.
I really don't know if it was through my spark plugs. I am assuming it did because when I took off the spark plugs and pushed the bike while in gear, water came out of the piston. And since it was winter during that time and it snowed, I assumed the snow melted through the hole of the plug. In any rate, the piston froze and I went ahead and sold it since I wanted a new one anyway.
 
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