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How About...

If I was buying today with your requirements in mind, I would probably get the FZ1 or a Triumph Trophy. I currently ride an '01 VFR for sport, commuting, and 1000+ mile road trips. If you don't mind buying an older bike, a previous generation (98-01) VFR is still an excellent mount. The new ones with the VTEC nonsense are not an option. A friend of mine rides a Futura and is very happy with it for longer road trips and some sporty riding, or as sporty as it gets in Oklahoma. How far is it to a reputable Aprilia shop from your home? If you favor the lighter or half faired bikes, look hard at the FZ1.
 

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I've bought a Futura only after 1 season of riding. It's a wonderful motorcycle, it really can do it all... or most of it, at least. It's not in production any more, but rumors are that the new Futura will be announced by the end of the year.

Contrary to popular belief, Futura is very reliable. It does have couple of common weak spots, however, that you will have to fix right after the purchase to prevent problems - one is fragile plastic quick fuel disconnect that should be either removed whatsoever or replaced with metal QD and a "melting brown connector / regulator" problem. Both glitches are easy to fix and can be done for anywhere from $0 (removing the QD and doing the wiring mod) to $160 (metal QD and new voltage regulator). Other than that - no serious issues and the Rotax engine is believed to be bulletproof.

You can find more information at the Futura forum: http://www.apriliaforum.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=14
 

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I went from a Harley Low Rider to a Ducati ST4 so a Futura won't be too much as long as you're wise with the throttle hand.



You'll love having the great V-twin sound with lots more power. Just make sure there is an Aprilia dealer near you.
 

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The SV650 is a fine commuter bike but I wouldn't buy it with plans to log highway miles. Your pure highway machine would be the Futura, and maybe the best compromise would be the Yamaha FRZ600 depending on how you feel about the Yamaha riding position.

 

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"Would the Futura be too much bike seeing that i'm coming off a cruiser?"



Not sure. It sounds like you've got some good experience under your belt, so you might be okay on it. You have to be honest with yourself about your riding skills. Sounds like you'll be fine with a little readjustment period.



The Futura gets praised by everyone, so it certainly sounds like a good choice. Just make sure you can get it serviced. I'll also go with Steve and say a previous generation VFR is probably a better value than the '02-'05 models. Most people love the FZ1, but it does have a pretty serious motor. A Suzuki Bandit 1200 is a great choice, too. A Kawi ZRX-1100 or 1200 would work fine if you can live with less wind protection (the 1200 also has lots of motor, so be warned). Also consider a used or leftover Triumph Sprint ST or RS ('02-'04s). Of course the new STs are great if you're buying new. I recommend an SV1000S, but the ergos are pure sport and, I think. are too extreme for long rides.



An FZ6 is a good bike, although I think you'll prefer a less frantic motor. And the larger bikes will be better for rolling up miles. An SV650 is not as well suited for long rides--the naked model offers no wind protection, and the S has true sportbike ergos. If you want to stay smaller, I might also suggest something like a Suzuki Katana 750--inexpensive, bulletproof, comfy ergos. The styling is a bit controversial, though.



Good luck.

 

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The Toad
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A guy I know has a 650 V-Strom that he uses for long distance touring two-up with his wife and luggage. He loves it. I wouldn't sell the DL650 short for touring at all.
 

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Take a Buell CityX for a test spin. Sporty, cheapish and will keep you on real 'merican hardware. Just don't try riding cross country. You won't believe how much better it is than your old Sporty.
 

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Sounds like you enjoy the torquier sound of twins, by your prior bikes. I would suggest the Suzook SV650 (not the S - with mini fairing) since I found it a good commuter, and with a Memphis windscreen, a good sport touring rig. Plus, TwoBros makes a nice slip-on pipe for it.
 

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I have a 2002 Futura. Easily the most comfortable "sporty" bike I have ridden. The seat is great. The pegs give you 3+ inches more than a VFR. The service at 5k ran me $209 and that included de-restricting the airbox, remapping the FI & a new t-shirt. Next service is an oil change and inspection at 9500. Then a valve check at 12k. All in all, the motor is under-taxed in the Futura state of tune and should prove to be quite dependable.

I'm a big fan of "twin" motors in general. The inlines can easily intimidate riders try to access the upper regions of the power band. It's hard to pick a "bad" bike these days. You can even pick some UGLY good ones. Buy the one you are passionate about.(It won't be your last)
 

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Went from a Harley FXR to a 2000 Sprint ST. Couldn't believe how much better it was (afa riding dynamics).



Also, the Sprint has hard bags. They were included in the price for the '03 and '04 models.



There are quite a few folks that prefer the pre-'02 model engine performance and EFI system. I went from the Y2K to an '03 model, and they both run great. I'd love to try out the new one, but my wallet starts to smoke every time I think too long about it.



The Triumphs are damn near bulletproof (touch wood). I've not heard of anyone having problems with any of the models. Sure, there was a recall for plastic fuel fittings, but otherwise I've had the bike at the Dealership only for the 12,000 mile valve adjustment.



Lastly, that Triple sure sounds sweet when "ya gitonit!"
 

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The Toad
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Somebody's gotta do it....

......and so, since the VFR (older one) and SV650 have already been recommended you should also be sure to check out a Concours.
 
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