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Make sure that after a 15 year absence you get a bike that can at least go 150 mph. Try and find something that will lift the front wheel off the ground in any gear whether you are leaned over or straightened up. It's also very important to find something that has enough horsepower to spin the back tire when ever possible. If you can't seem to find something that will make all of these scenarios possible go to a Suzuki shop and try on a DL650.



Zak
 

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So, you're looking at nekked or semi-nekked bikes, is that where you want to stay? If so, the monster is a great bike but reality is that you'll hate the riding position if you ride more than 50 miles. The "original" FZ1 is a great bike with better ergos than the 919. Here are a few others, go all used because you never know how your taste will change over the next few months: Yamaha FZ1, Kawasaki ZRX, BMW R1150R, Suzuki Bandit 1200s, Triumph Speed III. All can be had for between $4500-$6500 used. Check service records on them and ask the bloggers in any of the individual forums for things to look for (small fixes, upgrades, any warranty work) while shopping. Good luck and remember to be patient while shopping. It will help keep the headaches in check.
 

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I'm 6'4" w/32" inseam. I ride a 2002 Triumph Sprint RS, and aside from the bars being *slightly* lower than I would like it's an excellent fit. Seat's not too hard on the keister either. Not too heavy, not too light. WAY more than enough power for me, and about 50 mpg on the road.



Just an option to think about ...
 

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Acecycleins is pretty much on the mark, I would really give the Suzuki Bandit 1200's a look, very good riding position, also, check out the different cruiser type bikes, add some highway bars and you can pretty much customize your riding position.
 

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I second the Triumph Tiger as a good choice. Comfort, good power, good road manners, and versatile. at 6'0", I'm just big enough to ride it comfortably once I put a Corbin seat on it. It will fit 6'4" quite well. Make the simple addition of bar risers if you want to take it off-road. Used ones, only two-three years old, are available for $6500 or less, with not too many miles on them. (Many people hang onto them and put lots of miles on them- they are good for 100k+ with little trouble.)
 

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It would also be important to know how well you rode your nighthawk 15 years ago. Some of the bikes mentioned above like the fz-1, s3 and zrx have got some serious power.

Were you ready to move up to that much bike when you stopped riding? If so, shop away. If not, +1 for the Suzuki Dl650.
 

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Re: FZ-6 has lots of legroom

I am 6'6" tall and ride an 06 Yamaha FZ-6. Its only downside is that with the stock windscreen the turbulent part of the flow hits your face and neck. This is (supposedly) easily fixed with a Puig windscreen, although I do not have one. The bike has lots of legroom and is comfortable with my 35 inch inseam.

That said, I think I am buying a VFR, because I want something that looks a little more like what I think a motorcycle is supposed to look like.

Have fun be safe.
 

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Exactly.



It's interesting that Ace and gbrummett pounded the effort for tiered licensing and yet were the first to recommend "high-powered" bikes.



Why do we need the government to mandate a program when we could take it upon ourselves to point a new buyer in the right direction.



Don't get me wrong, I'm not attacking either poster. Ace has some great dealer info he shares with us and gbrummett has some great user experience on Buells.



But we have a buyer that hasn't ridden in 15 years, seems to be taking the safety course for the first time and only has experience on a nighthawk for an undetermined amount of time.



Wouldn't a KLR 650, EX500, GS500 or even one of the Hyosung 250cc versions of the SV that be a better choice for a full size rider looking for, essentially, a first bike?



I just don't get why we need government to step in when we can do it ourselves.

 

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After a 15 year absense an FZ1 and the like sounds like too much bike. It would be for me. The V-Strom 650 is an excellent option, fast enough to get in plenty of trouble and pass cars going 80 like they were settin' still, but not truly crazy fast like an FZ1. You'd be surprised how much fun 70 hp can be. They seem to hold their value really well too. An FZ6 might be another good option.
 

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Point taken, but keep in mind the ex500, gs500 or the Hyosung 250 could be cramped for a 6'4" guy. I'm 6'3" and I rode a little ninja 250 and also a 500 fora while (the 250 actually fit better than the 500) but I fold up pretty well. The GS500 feels really goofy. The KLR would be a good choice though.



Currently I ride a sv650s which is also probably too small for most taller guys but it works for me as long as I take breaks. Works great for commuting though.
 

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That's why I named the KLR and the Hyosung 250. The Hyosung is an SV650 with a smaller engine in it.



But the point is, as soon as some one asks what to ride, people give completely opposite advice from the thread they were on previously beating the drum for government intrusion because people make poor choices and kill themselves.



Here is an opportunity to move someone in the right direction and we have comments like "You'd be surprised how much fun 70 hp can be" when we had people giving stories about how a new rider wreck on a bike that had just a little more than that when they were attempting to defend government mandating tiered licensing.



Now, apart from that, how is the wind protection on the sv650s being as tall as you are? Does the wind beat down on your helmet? Especially since sportier positioned bikes are usually geared towards people under 6’.

 

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I second the Speed Triple (not just because I own one). If you liked the riding position of your Nighthawk, you'll feel right at home on an S3. I'm only 5'9", but ran into the same situation you did when shopping for a Monster. The riding position is just plain weird.



As for being too much bike, if you had at least a couple of years on the Honda and the MSF as a refresher, I think you'll be OK. Below 5000 rpm it's pretty docile. Just make sure you're rolling onto the power above that (as opposed to whacking the throttle open) because the front wheel will come off the ground quick in the lower gears.
 

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My two bikes have about 100 horse difference. I frequently pick the Klr for a sporty back road jaunt. With 38 hp bulging and clawing at the ground, I realize I don't use half on my Triumphs potential most of the time.
 

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Stick some highway pegs on that Monster. A padded and studded sissy bar will let you stretch out too. Get one a them dumbass shorty helmets to complete the ensemble. Now you can ride that bike of your dreams in style and comfort.
 
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